Deantini is now on Facebook
Last week, Spectator sat down with Columbia College Interim Dean James Valentini. Find out what Deantini had to say about the possibility of meeting President Barack Obama, the departure of former CC dean Michele Moody-Adams, and his new Facebook account:
- Shortly after being appointed interim dean in September, Valentini told Spectator that he planned to talk to Moody-Adams to find out why she resigned so abruptly. But eight months have gone by, and Valentini says he hasn’t spoken to Moody-Adams since she resigned. He couldn’t explain why, but he noted that “legal is the operative word”:
“If you wanted to pursue that, whether people have spoken to one another, why or why not, I’d have to send you to the president’s office. These things are decided, as they say, at a level above my pay-grade … On things like that, I’m told what I’m expected to do, and rightly so.”
- Over the course of the semester, Arts and Sciences administrators have finalized new administrative structures for A&S, including an executive committee that seems to increase the authority of Valentini and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences dean Carlos Alonso. Considering that none of the new structures suggested by McKinsey and Company were implemented, it’s hard for Valentini to say why Moody-Adams might have resigned. “Now the question really is, what was Dean Moody-Adams’ perception at the time, and how much of a factor did McKinsey play in that?” he said. “I can’t say, and it would be up to Dean Moody-Adams to answer that.”
- Valentini was invited by Barnard President Debora Spar to attend Barnard’s commencement, where he will get to hear Obama, CC ’83, speak. Valentini doesn’t think he will get the chance to meet Obama, though. “I’ve never met a president of the United States,” he said.
- A review of the Center for Career Education is nearly complete. Valentini has not had the time to review the report yet, but he’s not in a huge hurry:
“It’s not a situation where we’re facing a crisis or there’s a great deal of concern. I came into it open to the idea that examination of it was a good idea, and the project had already been underway, and I am eager to draw it to a close and get a report, and make some decisions about how we want to proceed, but I haven’t done so yet.”
- At the end of March, Valentini joined Facebook—and he’s accepting students’ friend requests. He signed up because his middle son is a Marine stationed in Afghanistan, and he wanted to have access to the Facebook group for his son’s regiment, where information is frequently posted. Of course, once he signed up, the friend requests started pouring in:
- Valentini also weighed in on the debate over renovating Lerner Hall’s Broadway Room, which has brought the Student Space Initiative—which wants to turn the Broadway Room into a lounge—into conflict with performing arts groups, who frequently use the room as practice space. Valentini said that a new space would need to be found for performing arts groups before the Broadway Room could be renovated. “We can’t eliminate a resource for one group in order to provide a resource for everyone,” he said. “We have to find a way that everyone’s needs will be met.”
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