Shennan to Step Down as Provost in 2024

A photo portrait of Provost Andy Shennan

Photo by Jared Leeds

Photo by Jared Leeds

In a letter to the Wellesley community, Provost and Lia Gelin Poorvu ’56 Dean of the College Andrew Shennan announced that he will step down from the position he has held for 20 years. Shennan was associate dean of the College from 1999 to 2004 and dean of the College from 2004 to 2009. In 2010, he was appointed to the newly created post of provost. In that capacity, he has overseen all academic programs as well as library and technology services and budgetary and strategic planning. His term will conclude on June 30, 2024.

“[W]ith an ambitious strategic plan in place and many of its initiatives launched and underway, I have decided that this is the right time,” Shennan wrote in a letter to the Wellesley community. “It has been the privilege of my office (to use a phrase that I love to say at commencement) to work with the entire Wellesley community—with faculty and staff, with generations of student leaders and of trustees, and with our incomparable alums—to sustain and strengthen this institution.”

During his tenure, Shennan worked with three presidents of the College, “the most far-sighted and principled presidents one could ever hope to serve under,” he wrote. A graduate of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, he considers Wellesley the exemplar of what a liberal arts college can be. It is “a place that elevates undergraduate teaching and mentorship to a fine art, realizes the powerful synergy between high-caliber scholarship and high-impact teaching, and is animated through and through by the determination to make this world a better and fairer place, for women and for everyone,” he wrote.

An internal search has begun to select candidates for the next provost. “One of the hallmarks of Provost Andy Shennan’s remarkable tenure is our distinguished faculty,” President Paula A. Johnson wrote in announcing the process, “and this is where we will focus our search for his replacement.”

After a sabbatical, Shennan plans to return to the history department—and the classroom.

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