February 27, 2009

Moody-Adams Takes Columbia Post

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Correction Appended
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Michele Moody-Adams said yesterday she will be leaving Cornell to accept a position as Dean of Columbia College. She is the fourth administrator to leave the Office of the Provost in the past year.
“I have just been so fortunate to do all the things I have been able to do at Cornell,” Moody-Adams said. “If it wasn’t for all the experiences here, I wouldn’t be who I am.”
Former Provost Biddy Martin, former Vice Provost for International Relations David Wippman and former Vice Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development Robert Harris all announced their departures from the Office last year. Apart from Harris, who returned to his faculty position at the Africana Studies and Research Center, all other administrators left Ithaca to take up positions at other universities.
Moody-Adams has served as Vice Provost since 2005. She also holds a position as the Hutchinson Professor and Director of Public Life, and Professor of Philosophy.
Though Moody-Adams has had a long and illustrious career at Cornell, there were numerous factors that contributed to her career decision to move from Ithaca to the Big Apple. Among them were the unique aspects of the Columbia curriculum, which she hopes to streamline and maintain. Moody-Adams cited the specific two-year general education aspects of Columbia College’s curricula that intrigues her.
Additionally, Moody-Adams said she hopes to incite continued debate about the importance of a liberal arts education in an increasingly vocational-directed world. She noted that she wants to prove that it is possible to be well-versed in classic works and still obtain a good job.
A professor since 2000, Moody-Adams has had a lot of time to build up her resume. She said that one of her most enjoyable experiences has been her involvement with building a literary repertoire of the incoming classes.
“Absolutely the most fun thing is the book project,” Moody-Adams said. She has been involved with the New Student Reading Project since its inception in 2000 and helps narrow down the possible selections each year. The book project, however, is only one of many luminous accomplishments for the former Marshall scholar at Oxford.
“The things I feel proudest of, I’ve helped to create a Center for Teaching Excellence and worked with the West Campus housing system,” Moody-Adams said. She helped develop the live-in faculty member program on West Campus and cultivate the “living-learning” atmosphere.
Moody-Adams emphasized that she will always have connections to Cornell, especially through her husband, Prof. James Eli Adams M.A. ’83, English, who also had his Ph.D. at Cornell.
Adams will move to Columbia with his wife to teach English and comparative literature.
The article mistakenly stated that Prof. James Eli Adams will stay at Cornell to teach. In fact, he will move to Columbia with Moody-Adams.