Ray Jayawardhana, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of astronomy, will step down from his position as dean on Thursday, July 13 to begin a new position as provost of Johns Hopkins University on Oct. 15.
The interim dean will be Rachel Bean, senior associate dean for math and science in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of astronomy. She had previously served as its interim dean for Jayawardhana’s sabbatical during the Spring 2023 semester.
“Ray has provided outstanding leadership these past five years. Under his guidance, the college has further elevated its stature and launched various signature initiatives to enhance its teaching, research and public engagement profile,” Provost Michael Kotlikoff said in an email to members of the College of Arts & Sciences.
Kotlikoff went on to highlight Jayawardhana’s achievements, including increases in student applications and the implementation of a new curriculum for undergraduate students, as well as the creation of the Klarman Fellowship, a new postdoctoral program.
“Thanks to Ray’s leadership, the college has experienced record-breaking giving from alumni and friends, critical funds to fuel student support, faculty renewal, teaching and research facility upgrades and academic innovation,” Kotlikoff said in the email.
Jayawardhana will remain on the faculty until Oct. 15.
Jayawardhana released a statement through the Cornell Chronicle in response to the announcement.
“It’s been a joy to be part of this vibrant community. Together, we have built upon a phenomenal legacy of exploration and engagement in a whole host of ways, and positioned the college as a nexus of discovery and impact,” Jayawardhana said. “I’m thankful to the terrific colleagues, students, alumni and others with whom I’ve been privileged to partner. I will continue to cheer for Cornell from afar.”
Correction, July 12, 1:17 p.m.: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Rachel Bean is a physics professor. The article has been corrected to reflect that she is a professor in the astronomy department. The Sun regrets this error.