Moodygate is the name Bwog gave to the unexpected, sudden, indignant resignation of Columbia College Dean Michelle Moody-Adams. Moody-Adams' resignation was apparently spurred by the McKinsey Arts and Sciences Report.
It is with a very heavy heart that I send you this news. Columbia University has begun plans to transform the administrative structure in Arts and Sciences. The planned changes will have the effect of diminishing and in some important instances eliminating the authority of the Dean of the College over crucial policy, fund-raising and budgetary matters.
During my tenure as Dean, I have repeatedly voiced concern that changes of this kind will ultimately compromise the College’s academic quality and financial health. In my time here, I have quietly and respectfully sought the counsel of many of you about how to have my voice heard. I believed until very recently that, given the quality of my contributions to Columbia and the success of many of my efforts here, my concerns might be taken seriously. Just a very few days ago, it was made clear to me that the structural transformations intended to fundamentally alter decision-making in and for the College cannot be stopped.
Because I cannot in good conscience carry out a role that I believe to be detrimental to the welfare of the College, I have submitted my resignation as Dean of Columbia College, effective June 30, 2012. In my final year as Dean, I will work towards a seamless transition and continue to adhere to the values that I have promoted for 27 years in higher education: academic excellence, professionalism at every level of the organization, administrative transparency and fiscal responsibility. On July 1, 2012 I will look forward to strengthening my connections to my tenure home in Philosophy as the Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory.
I believe in offering my best as an administrator, educator and scholar and in doing the right things by the constituents I serve. Columbia is developing a structure that will no longer allow me to do that as Dean. I nonetheless thank you for your support during my tenure as Dean.
Michele M. Moody-Adams
After this email, PrezBo wasn't having her on for another year—and he accepted her resignation immediately.. There was no dean in time for Convocation, which ended up being canceled anyway on account of Hurricane Irene. On September 2, 2011, Prezbo named Deantini the interim dean of the College. In June 2012, he was officially named as permanent dean.
On top of everything else, Moody-Adams' resignation came immediately on the heels of Provost Claude Steele's resignation that same summer, which was also made on account of administrative power issues.
Moody-Adams, having effectively fallen on her sword by her dramatic email, roused a year-long furor regarding Columbia College's diminishing place within the larger Columbia University. After much sound and fury, including op-eds from Professor Andrew Delbanco, trustee Judge Jose Cabranes, GSAS Dean Carlos Alonso, and speculation about Deantini and The Core Endowment, nothing happened.
Alumni cooled off and got back to giving; students cooled off and got back to... doing whatever students do.
- The summary Spec obtained of the McKinsey report
- Moodygate in the NYTimes
- Dirks on Moodygate
- Deantini on Moodygate
- "Understanding Moodygate," Bwog
- "BREAKING: Dean Moody-Adams Resigns," Bwog
- "A distant president and a mysterious McKinsey report," Capital New York
- Delbanco's October 2011 speech at the Italian Academy, via Spec
- "No to the siren song aimed at Columbia College," in Spec
- "Teaching and research at Columbia," in Spec
- "BREAKING: Moody-Adams' Resignation Effective Immediately
- "BREAKING: Professor James Valentini Is the New Dean of CC
- "Deantini Is Now Your Dean Forever"