News for Faculty & Staff


News from the Dean

Dean Shoulson, a man with short, grey hair, wears a blue suit and tie.

Dear Colleagues,

This month marks the end of my first academic year as Dean of Arts and Sciences and it seems like a good time to take a step back and reflect on the experience.

I think it’s fair to say that I did not anticipate how challenging a year it would be. Between the significant tensions that arose on campus in the wake of Hamas’s attacks and Israel’s military response and the budgetary challenges we are now facing across the university, I don’t know that I can point to a solid week of my tenure thus far that could be described as “business as usual.” Not that there ever is such a thing as a typical week in the deanery, where we are always trying to strike a balance between managing the predictable routines of the academic year and addressing the unanticipated crises or opportunities (big and small) that inevitably arise. And, of course, there is always the need to carve out time to think and plan beyond the most immediate and obvious demands—there never seems to be enough of that.

As I’ve observed to some of you over the year, while I would never have wished for any of these substantial challenges, the silver lining to all of them is that they have accelerated the pace at which I’ve been able to get to know many of you and to learn about what matters most to you; to see just how dedicated you are to the work we do at Brandeis—and how good you are at it; and to understand what makes this place so special.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my first year and, while I don’t want to rehearse them here, I do continue to learn from them even as I keep making new ones. I am grateful to those who have given me the grace to acknowledge my errors and the space to make amends, even as I do appreciate your willingness to call me on my missteps—really! I can’t get better at my job if I don’t know where I need to improve. I strongly believe that we must model humility and open- mindedness to our students and feel it is among my chief responsibilities as Dean to set an example.

Most importantly, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the people who make it possible for me to fulfill my duties, starting with the team in the DAS office. Kathleen McMahan works quietly but oh-so-effectively behind the scenes, ensuring the smooth internal operations of our office and keeping me on task, expertly assisted by Brynn Sibley and Kayla Whitehurst. Shannon Kearns is simply superb at all things operational and administrative. First Wendy Cadge and now Charles Golden have been extraordinary deans, partners, and counsellors in the work we do in support of graduate studies. Without Joel Christensen (assisted by Alicia Hyland and Heather Young) and Olga Papaemmanouil (along with Lauren Buckley) I honestly do not know how I would have gotten through the year—their wisdom and perspective, not to mention their hard work, have been essential. I am grateful for my partnership with Dean of Academic Services, Lori Tenser. And I am delighted to welcome our new A&S development officer, Hannah Taytslin Devine, who will be a key partner in our increased fund-raising efforts going forward. I also want to thank Division Heads Bulbul Chakraborty, Caren Irr, and Aïda Yuen Wong for all their work and support, with a special shout-out to Bulbul as she steps down from the role at the end of this academic year. Finally, I want to recognize the dedication of all the departmental and program leaders, too many to mention here.

Thanks to all of you. I am so proud and thankful to be your colleague.

Wishing you all a restful, restorative, and productive summer. I look forward to seeing you back on campus in the Fall.


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July 1

First day to submit forms requesting CA, UTA and Grader support (please submit all initial requests in one batch). 

July 1 through as early in the fall term as possible

Once you are approved for CA and Grader hires, you can begin to talk with students about CAs and Grader positions. Please submit the hiring forms to GSAS between July 1 and August 24, if at all possible. Instructions about how to do so will be included in your approval notifications. 

August 7

Deadline to Apply for Pedagogical Partnership

August 17

Deadline to submit forms for PhD TA hires to GSAS. Please submit the hiring form (one per student)

August 24

Preliminary deadline to submit form for Course Assistant and Grader hires to GSAS. Please submit the hiring form (one per student)

September 11

Undergraduate fall course enrollment ends. Deadline to submit forms requesting CA and Grader support. 

September 20

Final deadline to submit forms for Course Assistant and Grader hires to GSAS.

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