Dean Austin Quigley has announced his plans to step down at the end of the 2008–09 academic year, after a term of 14 years as Dean of Columbia College and Lucy G. Moses Professor. Dean Quigley’s term in office is the second-longest in College history — only Herbert E. Hawkes, Dean of the College from 1918–43, served longer.
Dean Quigley presided over the College at a time of remarkable progress, as reflected in admissions statistics, facilities renewal, fundraising levels, faculty investments, curricular innovations, student achievements, financial-aid upgrades, student services enhancements, alumni program initiatives and more.
Born in Northumbria, near the English border with Scotland, Dean Quigley earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Nottingham University, and his Master’s degree in Linguistics at Birmingham University before moving to the United Sates, where he earned his Doctorate in English and Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at UC Santa Cruz. Before coming to Columbia in 1990, he taught at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Virginia, where he was Chair of the English department. He has also taught at the University of Geneva, the University of Konstanz, and the University of Nottingham.
At Columbia, where he holds the departmental chair, Brander Matthews Professor of Dramatic Literature, Dean Quigley established the undergraduate major in Drama and Theatre Arts, revived the doctoral program in Theatre and helped reinvigorate the MFA program in Theatre in the School of the Arts.
Dean Quigley announced his plans in a letter to members of the Columbia community sent on May 21. Later that day, University President Lee C. Bollinger sent a letter in which he thanked Dean Quigley for his exceptional service to Columbia and announced that he would serve as Special Advisor to the President for Undergraduate Education.