Long talks plans for the future of undergraduate education
Janie Long, currently the director of the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, was recently appointed associate vice provost of undergraduate education. Long, Divinity '81, will replace Donna Lisker in the role when Lisker leaves to become Dean of Smith College in Northampton, Mass. July 1. The Chronicle's Emma Baccellieri sat down with Long to discuss her work with CSGD and her goals for her new position
The Chronicle: What appeals to you about the new position?
Janie Long: I think it gives me a broader exposure to students than I’m able to have working in one center. Even though I’ve been fairly successful in reaching out beyond the Center [for Sexual and Gender Diversity], it does allow me the ability to perhaps touch the lives of more students than I have thus far. The other thing that really appeals to me about it is that it gives me the chance to wed two parts of myself, if you will. Before this, I was a full-time faculty member, and so I will bring that experience with me—now having for the past almost eight years living on the student affairs side, I get to sort of bring the two together.
TC: The associate vice provost position involves so many different components of student life—is there anything in particular you're looking forward to?
JL: Much of what the job is about is whatever is going on in the lives of undergraduates.... So one of the things I really look forward to is the variety of things that will come my way, the variety of issues, the variety of people that I’ll have a chance to work with.
TC: What does your departure mean for the position of CGSD director moving forward?
JL: There will be a national search, and that’s yet to unfold. But I feel like we’re in a good place and I really look forward to what new ideas and energy a new person will bring to the position.
TC: How do you feel about what the Center's been able to do in your tenure as director?
JL: Oh, my goodness, how to summarize that in a few words! I think what I’m most proud of is the positive influence on the lives of so many of our students—and certainly I’m talking about LGBTQ students, but I’m talking about students across the campus and I feel like there are so many students that people will never guess.... I would say what I feel the best about is the ability of the center to reach so many students in a positive way. I know lives have been changed for the better. You couldn’t ask for anything more, really.
TC: Do you have any particular goals for moving over to an administrative role in the Allen Building?
JL: A lot during the first year will be to listen and get to know as many people possible and to learn. A part of what I do will be dictated by what the goals of the provost and the vice provost will be, but there will also be goals that we develop together.... People always want you to say, “i’m going to do this," or "I’m going to do this,” but that’s not up to you in isolation. I’m really looking forward to what the next chapters will be, and it is kind of exciting that I don’t exactly know what those will hold.