Letter of support from Dr. Gwen Athene Tarbox, Department of English:
Since becoming dean on July 1, 2010, Dr. Alex Enyedi has worked to enhance and improve every aspect of the College of Arts and Sciences at WMU. He oversaw a strategic planning process that has resulted in a consistent improvement in the ability of the college to deliver a world-class education to undergraduate and graduate students. He has appointed an administrative team of associate deans who have done a fantastic job of streamlining the day-to-day and long term operations of the unit.
The physical spaces that the college inhabits, from the Friedmann Hall undergraduate advising office to the hallways and common areas in Sprau Tower to the public spaces in Brown Hall, have been refurbished and present a community feel that has bolstered the morale of everyone who works in the college.
Most importantly, Dean Enyedi has been a tireless advocate for the importance of the arts and sciences to the university’s mission as a whole, and he has attempted to provide departments with the resources that they need to best serve their students. He has been a transparent, ethical, and thoughtful leader who has listened carefully to the opinions and ideas put forward by every constituent group. His support of research and global engagement has given faculty and staff numerous opportunities to pursue their scholarly projects, and he has encouraged interdisciplinary collaboration with other colleges at WMU. Even during an economic downturn and multiple budget cuts, Dr. Enyedi has protected the academic mission of the college, and he has tried to align staff salaries with cost of living increases.
In our most recent faculty evaluation of the dean’s performance, 91% of board appointed faculty in the college indicated that they wished Dr. Enyedi to continue on as dean. For this reason, it is particularly surprising to learn that Provost Greene has chosen not to renew Dean Enyedi’s contract.
Dean Enyedi has been a strong supporter of the faculty, staff, and students in the College of Arts and Sciences, and now it is up to these constituents to stand up for him and for the future of our college. If, like me, you value Dean Enyedi’s ethical, transparent, fair, effective, and engaged leadership, please do all you can to communicate to the administration that you would like an explanation as to why, with his substantial record of effective leadership and management, Dean Enyedi is being asked to step down.
Dr. Gwen Athene Tarbox
Department of English