President Sonya Stephens has announced the appointment of Dorothy E. Mosby as the interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. Mosby will start her new duties in August following Jon Western’s return to the faculty, and will serve in the role for two years, through June 30, 2022.
Jon Western, Carol Hoffman Collins ’63 Professor of International Relations, has served as the dean of faculty and vice president for academics since 2016.
Mosby joined the Mount Holyoke community in 2003. She was professor of Spanish and appointed associate dean of faculty in 2016. She has also served as a deputy coordinator for the College’s Title IX team and was the faculty mentor for the seventh cohort of Posse Scholars. In addition, Mosby played a key role in fulfilling the College’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by leading the office of the Dean of Faculty’s initiatives on inclusive search and hiring practices.
“I am very excited to take on this role at the College,” said Mosby. “What excites me is to be working with my faculty colleagues in a different way, to be able to have this dynamic and inspiring curriculum and that we need Mount Holyoke College in the world today.”
“Dorothy brings to the role of dean of faculty her deep knowledge and understanding of Mount Holyoke and the life and work of its faculty, a wealth of experience in the administration of academic affairs over the last four years and fresh perspectives,” said President Sonya Stephens. “She also brings to the work ahead her hallmark thoughtful engagement, intellectual energy, great insight and integrity, as well as a genuine concern and strong advocacy for others and for their professional success.”
Mosby’s research focuses on Afro-Hispanic, Caribbean identity and African diaspora literature and culture. She is the author of “Place, Language, and Identity in Afro-Costa Rican Literature” (2003) and “Quince Duncan. Writing Afro-Costa Rican and Caribbean Identity” (2014). She has also translated two Quince Duncan novels for English-speaking audiences. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Mosby also holds a B.A. from Hood College, which was founded as a women’s college and only allowed a limited number of men as commuter students from 1971 to 2003. Before coming to Mount Holyoke, Mosby taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Ohio State University.
Mosby acknowledged that teaching and learning during a pandemic is daunting, but that Mount Holyoke’s adaptability and strength are assets moving forward.
“We say ‘Mount Holyoke forever shall be,’ and it’s true—we are a resilient institution,” she said. “The College has been through moments of change and crisis before and has survived—I am confident we can draw on this historic strength to thrive at this moment and well into the future.”
“The fall will be different. It will look different. It will feel different. But, what will remain the same is our dedication to our core academic mission and our support of our students and the engagement of faculty,” she said. “There will be new protocols and practices in place, and there are going to be things that are very dissimilar to what we’re used to—but there are so many things that are going to stay the same. Faculty remain committed to their subject matter and still have that same passion, drive and enthusiasm to teach students; students will have that same passion, drive and enthusiasm to learn, engage, reflect and connect what they are learning about the world.”
Mosby continued, “Although our circumstances may be different and may even be difficult at times, what holds us together is our commitment to each other and for all of Mount Holyoke to work together to fulfill our mission.”
The search process for the vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty position will be announced at a future date.