Harpur College of Arts and Sciences is saying goodbye to Dean Elizabeth Chilton, as she plans to leave Binghamton University for a new position over the summer.
In a May 1 statement on Dateline, Donald Nieman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, announced Chilton will be moving on to a position at Washington State University (WSU) as their provost and executive vice president. Nieman reflected on Chilton’s time at BU.
“Harpur [College] has benefited from [Chilton]’s leadership,” Nieman wrote in the statement. “Her commitment to providing exceptional learning experiences for our students has been unwavering and prepared her for this next step in her career.”
Chilton will start her position at WSU on Aug. 1. Before then, Nieman will be working with department chairs, faculty and staff to appoint an interim dean. The plan to hire a new dean will be announced during the fall semester.
Chilton said she believes her move to WSU will be a good fit for her.
“The position of provost of the [WSU] system is a great opportunity for me to apply my experience in higher education to some of the most critical issues facing higher education: access, inclusion and student success,” Chilton wrote in an email. “[WSU] is a stellar, research-intensive land grant campus, with a strong outreach and engagement mission. These are values I’ve held my entire career thus far.”
Chilton has been the dean of Harpur College since 2017, as well as a professor of anthropology, and wrote that it was a “great honor” to work at BU. During her time on campus, Chilton created the faculty hiring cluster in critical studies in race and inequality. The program seeks to hire faculty focused in a similar field so they can support and work with each other academically, thus creating a strong community. The program also helps raise the number of historically underrepresented faculty members.
Chilton also created the Harpur College Faculty Mutual Mentoring Initiative, a program designed to support faculty through mutual mentoring networks where professors can learn from each other.
Despite these accomplishments, Chilton said her favorite part about working at BU was the informal lunches she held with students at the Chenango Room every month.
“Honestly, one of the top highlights of my time at BU has been my monthly lunches with Harpur [College] students,” Chilton wrote. “I am continually impressed by their focus, energy, creativity, ambition and academic inquisitiveness. I will miss Harpur [College] faculty, staff, alumni and students a great deal!”