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Skidmore College

New academic VP

November 6, 2017

After a national search, Skidmore President Philip Glotzbach has announced the appointment of Michael Orr as the next dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs, effective in July. 

VP Michael Orr
VP Michael Orr

Since 2011, Orr has served as the Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Lake Forest College in Illinois. There he led such initiatives as completing the strategic plan, revising the general education curriculum and coordinating the planning for a $43 million expansion and renovation of science facilities, including helping to acquire a $500,000 grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation for science equipment. In 2013 he helped establish the Institute on College Futures, an annual two-day seminar on the economic challenges facing liberal arts campuses in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. 

Before joining the Lake Forest administration, Orr taught art history for more than 20 years at Wisconsin’s Lawrence University, chairing his department and many faculty and college committees. He received Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award, Freshman Studies Teaching Prize, and University Award for Excellence in Teaching. He spent 2009–10 at Macalester College, in one of just 39 American Council on Education fellowships. He is co-author of three volumes in An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII. His bachelor’s degree is from University College London and his doctorate from Cornell University. 

Orr says he’s looking forward to working on strategic initiatives such as Skidmore’s Center for Integrated Sciences and the launch of the revised general education curriculum. “Above all,” he says, “I am eager to begin collaborating with Skidmore's outstanding faculty in supporting and sustaining their work as teachers and scholars.” 

Orr will succeed Beau Breslin, who has served in the post since 2012 and will return to the political science faculty in January, followed by Crystal Moore, who will fill the post between January and July. Glotzbach says he is grateful for Breslin’s “exemplary service and deep commitment” and for Moore’s interim leadership.

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