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Top Dartmouth dean steps down from post

  • Kathryn Lively, a Dartmouth College professor of sociology, resigned as dean of the college effective June 30, 2021. (Dartmouth College - Robert Gill)

Staff report
Published: 7/19/2021 1:41:38 PM
Modified: 7/20/2021 9:28:14 PM

HANOVER — The Dartmouth College dean who was in charge of enforcing COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the past 16 months has resigned from the post, according to an announcement from the school’s interim provost.

Kathryn Lively, a professor of sociology, had served as dean of the college, responsible for overseeing the college’s division of student affairs, since 2018.

As dean, Lively participated in strategic planning for the renovation and building of new residence halls, financial aid and for student inclusivity and diversity issues, and also worked with student assembly leaders to address food insecurity on campus and expand support for first-generation low-income students, according to a Dartmouth community-wide email on Monday from David Kotz, the interim provost.

Lively also guided both in-person and remote student services and programs during the pandemic, Kotz said.

But being in charge of enforcing some of the college’s COVID-19 restrictions took a toll this past school year. Lively’s unfavorability rating increased to 81%, according to a survey of the class of 2021 conducted by the student newspaper The Dartmouth this spring. That was up from an unfavorability rating of 37% from the class of 2020.

Dartmouth in May said it was rolling back some COVID-19 restrictions in dorms to allow students more opportunities to socialize with each other following the third unexpected death of a member of the freshman class. At least two of the deaths were by suicide.

Kotz’s email said Lively led an effort to boost staffing for Dartmouth's mental health services by over 50%.

Lively, who has been at Dartmouth since 2002, is slated to return to teaching and research, following a sabbatical. 

Kotz said Lively’s resignation was effective June 30 and that a search firm will be hired to help select an interim dean.

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