Fall 2013

Dynamic ideas excite new dean

McCall praises alumni role in Harpur's future


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Richard Anderson
Anne McCall became the new dean of Harpur College in August.

New Harpur College Dean Anne McCall considers it “magnificent” that physicians, lawyers, artists, scientists and other alumni continue to return to campus and support Binghamton University through talks, visits or giving.

“Alumni enrich our campus and institution just by being who they are,” says McCall, who met with alumni at a reception during Homecoming Weekend. “What’s beautiful about Harpur at its age is that it now has a multi-generational component to the academic community. Harpur College and Binghamton University are young, yet mature enough to benefit from the perspective and involvement of successful alumni. Our alumni are members of this community, and I am looking forward to meeting them.”

McCall joined Harpur College in August after serving five years as dean of arts, humanities and social sciences at the University of Denver. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Cincinnati, McCall also taught at Tulane University and Vassar College. Her research specializes in 19th-century France, and she is now working on a book about law and literature during that era.

“She is smart and very articulate,” President Harvey Stenger says, “and has the experience and leadership skills that will allow her to work with faculty and students to make a great college even better.”

The “high level of ambition and accomplishment” of students and faculty members initially attracted McCall to the open dean’s position, she says.

“I was impressed with the incoming credentials of the students, along with their accomplishments while they were here, the high graduation rate, the challenging classes they chose to take and their excitement about the [University],” McCall says.

A self-proclaimed “administrative geek,” McCall also says she was excited by the campus’ support of a road-map process that was developed by a “dynamic administration.”

“I had not seen a university that had an open process where you could volunteer to be on a committee and where participation was a function of your readiness to attend a lot of meetings,” she says. “I thought: ‘How interesting and open.’ In my mind, that reflected a healthy appetite for experimentation.”

McCall calls the University’s transdisciplinary areas of excellence (TAEs) “a selling point for me from the very beginning.” The five TAEs — which are citizenship, rights and cultural belonging; health sciences; material and visual worlds; smart energy; and sustainable communities — will guide the University’s future research and scholarship growth.

“It is what universities should be doing,” McCall says of the TAEs. “The payoff will be enormous for the institution, our students and for creating knowledge.”

With students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni working to make Binghamton the premier public university of the 21st century, the future of Harpur College is bright, McCall says. “This is a vibrant place to work, learn, imagine and grow,” she says. “I’m thrilled to be part of it, and I hope others are, too. I’m honored to be here and excited to join the community.”