February 19, 2002

ILR Dean Takes Semester Leave

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Edward J. Lawler, dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, went on sabbatical earlier this semester. Serving as active dean during Lawler’s absence is Robert Stewart Smith, associate dean of academic affairs in the ILR school.

“Administrators who are in their second term, as Dean Lawler is, are given the same type of leaves as faculty, said Ronald G. Ehrenberg, the Irving M. Ives Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations. “I think it’s a wonderful idea, because when [he] returns, [he] will be refreshed and ready to go back at it.”

Lawler, who could not be reached for comment, is residing in New York City while on sabbatical.

He will return at the end of this semester, according to Ehrenberg.

Lawler plans to work on a grant proposal and research during his leave, Smith said.

“Dean Lawler is a distinguished social psychologist,” Ehrenberg said. “He is using this time to do general reading that he doesn’t get a chance to do as dean and to finish up work on grants.”

Last fall Lawler, a scholar of organizational behavior, received the Cooley-Mead award. The award was given by the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in recognition of his contributions to the field of social psychology throughout his career.

“One of the absolute best things for faculty members is to have a dean who has remained active in research,” Ehrenberg said.

Smith has served as active dean twice before. “I’ve done this before, so I’m comfortable doing what I have to do,” he said. “[My job is to] keep the ship running. We don’t have any brand new initiatives, so we’ll keep on doing what we do.”

Smith will continue to serve as associate dean of academic affairs while serving as active dean, he said. “Things are running well,” Smith said. “We have good faculty, good students, and a good staff. The place pretty much runs itself.”

Archived article by Stephanie Hankin