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Skidmore College

Breslin named dean of faculty, vp

November 28, 2012

Breslin named dean of faculty, vp

November 28, 2012

Beau Breslin
 Beau Breslin (Photo by Eric Jenks)

Beau Breslin, professor of government and a member of the Skidmore faculty since 1998, has been appointed dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs at the college, following a national search. Breslin, who has been serving as interim dean and vice president since June, will assume the regular position immediately.  

In announcing the appointment, President Philip A. Glotzbach commented, "Through his distinguished career as a faculty member at Skidmore and his impressive administrative service, Beau Breslin has demonstrated his capacity to be an outstanding academic administrator. He brings to his position a broad understanding of the college and a deep commitment to its fundamental values. He is visionary in regard to our future and willing to do the work necessary to help us realize our potential. Above all, he displays the qualities of character necessary to be a creative and effective leader."

Linda Toohey, chair of the Skidmore Board of Trustees, also expressed enthusiasm for the appointment. "Members of the board know Beau very well from his work as a faculty member and, more recently, through his service as interim dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. We appreciate his devotion to Skidmore and to the work of the college's faculty, and we have been most impressed by his leadership. The board unanimously endorses this appointment, which we believe will provide vision for the future as well as continuity for key institutional priorities already under way."

A noted constitutional scholar, Breslin received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science (with a concentration in constitutional theory) from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. degree from Hobart College. He has authored two books published by The Johns Hopkins University Press: The Communitarian Constitution (2004) and From Words to Worlds: Exploring Constitutional Functionality(2008). A third book, The Generational Constitution: Jefferson, Madison and the Call for Periodic Constitutional Renewal, is under contract with Stanford University Press. 

Deeply committed to teaching and to liberal education, Breslin received Skidmore's Ralph A. Ciancio Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2008 and was elected by the 2004 graduating class to deliver the faculty address at commencement. In addition to his current duties, Breslin's administrative roles at the college have included department chair, director of the Law and Society Program, assistant dean, director of the First-Year Experience, and interim dean of the faculty.

"I am both humbled and deeply honored by this appointment and by the continuing support of the entire Skidmore community," said Breslin. "The opportunity to help shape the future of this wonderful institution is, for me, profoundly meaningful, and I look forward to working with faculty, students, and staff to find creative and innovative ways to realize our greatest aspirations."

Glotzbach expressed his deep appreciation for the work of the search committee, which he co-chaired with Professor of English Sarah Goodwin. Said Glotzbach, "The search committee worked tirelessly since it was constituted last spring.  In collaboration with consultants Steve Leo and Matt Bunting from Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, the committee considered over 130 applicants from across the country. In the end, Beau Breslin emerged from an exceptionally strong field as the clear choice for this position.  This is an important moment for the college, and I am excited at the prospect of working with Beau over the coming years."

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