Geography professor Andrew Marcus will be stepping down as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in December, according to an announcement addressed to University of Oregon community members by UO Provost Jayanth Banavar on Aug. 17. UO will conduct a national search for a new dean.
After five and a half years as dean, Marcus said he will be stepping down because he is satisfied with the the work that he has done so far.
“I will have been able to really influence the things I wanted to have the biggest influence on,” Marcus said in an interview with the Emerald.
Marcus became acting CAS dean in 2012 and became the dean in 2016, according to the announcement. The average length of a deanship ranges from five to seven years, according to UO spokesman Tobin Klinger.
Since coming to UO, Marcus has taught as a geography professor, served on President Schill’s Senior Leadership Team, the Space Advisory Group and the Budget Advisory Group.
One of the more tangible legacies of Marcus’ tenure is Tykeson Hall, a new building for academic and career advisors that broke ground in October 2017.
“It’s a college and a university that’s on this unbelievable upward trajectory,” Marcus said.
Having a single place for both academic and career advising will “help generations of students in the years to come” and had been something that Marcus had envisioned for years, Banavar said in an interview with the Emerald.
“He cares deeply about the university. He cares very deeply about the students. It’s something that I really admire about him,” Banavar said.
The role of a dean in a university shifted while he was in the position, Marcus said. More power is becoming centralized into the roles of the university president and provost, who are collecting more influence to control faculty hiring and budgets. In the past, deans had more authority on who their school would hire and where money would go.
“I’m supportive of it because it allows us to be much more agile in a rapidly changing environment so it can change institutional priorities to address those needs,” Marcus said.
Banavar credits Marcus with transforming CAS through recruiting faculty and successfully meeting challenges, including by having to make difficult decisions that “made the college much stronger as a result.”One of those decisions happened in April 2017, when CAS cut 21 nontenure track faculty and 10 staff members, according to The Register-Guard.
“I don’t know if he agonized over the decision because I think it was a decision that had to be made, but I think he did try to be human about it,” said former UO University Senate President Chris Sinclair, who worked with Marcus to create budgets for the CAS. “I feel like he recognized that people’s lives were being affected by these things.”