Weinberg to Resign in December



Peter Nelson

Vice President and Dean of the College Adam Weinberg will step down in December to become Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at World Learning and the School for International Training.

Weinberg has been at Colgate since 1995. He taught in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology before taking his current position three years ago.

As Dean of the College, he is charged with overseeing all parts of campus life that occur outside the classroom.

“[My job is] to make sure that the out-of-the-classroom experience adds to the total educational experience at Colgate,” he said.

Weinberg has helped to articulate a “New Vision” for the University’s residential and extracurricular programming that emphasized civic education and engagement. To that end, he helped to launch almost forty initiatives designed to refocus Colgate’s student life to foster responsible citizenship and political participation.

“These programs provide more options for students to do the things they want to do in ways that will enrich the educational experience,” Weinberg said. “They prepare students to be the civic leaders that the world is really going to need.”

Weinberg played an instrumental role in launching the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE), which facilitates internship programs, career counseling and is active in residential life in addition to volunteer opportunities. The COVE coordinates Colgate’s community service opportunities and promotes democracy in the Hamilton area and beyond.

He also helped to create the Partnership for Community Development (PCD), an organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown Hamilton and promoting sustainable economic growth in Madison County.

A central element of PCD was the Hamilton Initiative, which purchased and renovated seven buildings in the village that now house the Colgate Bookstore, Maxwell’s Chocolates, Nichols & Beal and other shops and apartments.

Weinberg saw this as a chance to work towards positive change in the community as a “great way to teach” and a “gratifying experience.”

Weinberg also worked to strengthen the University’s commitment to diversity – calling it one of the most satisfying goals he pursued.

“We had been thinking about diversity in very narrow terms and over the last few years we started making some major changes to that perception,” he said.

In addition to revitalizing the African, Latino, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center, Weinberg worked to make the Broad Street community a place where many different groups of students could “work together to jointly build a community.”

In the spring of 2003, the Board of Trustees unveiled a “New Vision for Residential Life” developed by Weinberg, University President Rebecca Chopp and other faculty members. Seeking to foster self-governance and a strong sense of community, the plan mandated that all fraternities and sororities sell their respective properties to the University or face expulsion.

“Any Greek-letter organization that opts not to sell its house to the university will not become a member of the Broad Street community and will consequently forfeit university recognition as of July 1, 2005,” Weinberg wrote in a September 7, 2004 memo to students. “Beginning in the fall 2005 semester such organizations will not be allowed to house or enroll Colgate students as members, and will cease all operations.”

The University incorporated the fraternities and sororities that remained after the buy-out into the Broad Street Community, a coalition of the special interest houses and Greek organizations that line Hamilton’s main thoroughfare.

Weinberg’s plan is that with an active community council and day-to-day involvement in the village’s civic life, the Broad Street Community allows students to live with other people, learn to solve problems together and self-govern.

Nevertheless, Weinberg has been attacked by alumni and current students for his alleged attempts to strip the organizations of their civil liberties.

“We challenged and support Greek organizations to live up to the standards of their organizations,” Weinberg said. “Change is always hard, but if organizations don’t change they don’t stay strong.”

Weinberg’s other accomplishments include the creation of the First Year Life Skills program, the Sophomore Year Experience and aiding in the revitalization of Colgate’s legendary debate team – all initiatives that seek to bring together different groups of students in meaningful and productive ways.

In his new capacity at World Learning and the School for International Training, Weinberg will help oversee an organization that pairs his dual passions for education and sustainable development.

“It’s a great professional opportunity,” he said. “It’s like being asked to play center field for the New York Yankees.”

In the interim, Secretary of the College Kim Waldron, Dean of Students Jim Terhune and Director of the Counseling Center Mark Thompson will fill Weinberg’s role this spring.