Ann McCall will take over as dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences in August, and to do so she’ll be packing her bags once again.
McCall, dean of arts, humanities and social sciences at the University of Denver, lived in Spain and France for 10 years and is certainly no stranger to travel. Prior to the University of Denver, she taught at Vassar College and Tulane University.
International affairs are important to McCall, and she said they will be a focus for Harpur moving forward.
“Every university is doing it,” McCall said. “The question is how you’re doing it … in a way that’s likely to create important learning opportunities for students here.”
She said her visits to campus showed her just how “ambitious” Binghamton University’s academic community is.
“Ambitious for themselves, ambitious for each other, ambitious for the institution … which is breathtaking,” she said.
McCall was impressed to see students campaigning on campus for important causes in ways that many “students in America right now are not prepared to do.”
Donald Nieman, the former dean of Harpur who was promoted to provost and vice president for academic affairs, said McCall’s experience makes her an outstanding fit for Harpur.
“What she brings to the table is perspectives that she’s garnered from faculty and administrative positions at several very good universities,” Nieman said. “In addition to that, Anne brings a real, deep international perspective to Harpur College … [that] will be a real asset.”
For Nieman, the highlights of his time as dean “were always the interactions I had and the relationships I developed with faculty, students and staff across Harpur.”
McCall said she was “intrigued” by the idea of moving to upstate New York, a region in which she has never lived.
“I’m interested in exploring the region … I love history … it’s an old, historic part of the United States,” McCall said.
McCall said she started enjoying winter sports when she moved from New Orleans to Colorado, and she hopes to keep with them when she moves to Binghamton.
“When I left New Orleans, I didn’t even know what an all-wheel drive car was, I had never cross-country skied, snow-shoed, or hiked … those were things I started learning how to do in Colorado,” McCall said.
She said she looks forward to volunteering in the community, specifically with groups related to literacy issues or homelessness.
Though meeting people is her first priority, McCall is not coming to BU with a laid-out plan.
“That would be a mistake,” she said. “As a dean, one of my goals will be to see that we are organizing ourselves for success within the framework that the president and provost have laid out. It’s my job to help support them in that.”
McCall will assume her duties as dean by August of this year.
“She has a refreshing sense of humor,” Nieman said, “and I think people are going to enjoy interacting with her.”