Resignation Letter of Former Hunter College Dean Maria Doelger Anderson

… Published Without Comment …
Copyedited for Style

May 28, 2013
Dear Erec,

It is with intense regret and personal sadness that I write today to tender my resignation as Assistant Dean for Operations, School of Arts & Sciences as of close of business on July 1, 2013.

I have been fortunate to work with many dedicated people towards a shared goal of helping Hunter fulfill its mission and promise in my nearly 31/2 years here. However, the path that the leadership of the College has chosen to pursue – one that favors select individuals over the goals of the institution and metes out punishment and retribution instead of welcoming an open and honest exchange of ideas – has transformed Hunter into an institution with which I am no longer proud to be associated.


Former Dean Erec Koch with Maria Anderson

Personal attacks and a culture of fear and mistrust have no place in any institution, but are especially appalling at an institution of higher learning such as Hunter.

I believe I have given my best to Hunter and am truly disheartened by what has transpired in recent months. I was the victim of the President’s mean-spirited and capricious decision to remove my panel discussion from Roosevelt House on short notice. I have watched her publicly shame and humiliate people to serve her own purpose.

Her targets are undeserving of such abuse and include you, your predecessor, Dr. Robert Greenberg, and countless others. One of our own valued colleagues in the office, Dr. Roblin Meeks, has been victimized by the President despite his excellent work here.

When he refused to accept a position as Special Assistant to the President to oversee special student cohorts – a position he did not seek and for which there was no active search – he was immediately marginalized by the administration. As a result, though he was the candidate selected in the search for Director of Curriculum nearly a year ago, the President blocked his official hire and he has been languishing in a series of acting and visiting appointments.

The President is also blocking the completion of the valid search for Associate Dean for Student Academic Excellence – and her threat to insert her own hand-picked person 111 the role Without your input or via a proper search is not only a violation of protocol and trust, but leaves your office unable to appropriately serve our faculty and staff and undermines your authority.

It is quite clear that a witch-hunt against you is underway and that it includes an attempt to fabricate instances of financial mismanagement on your part. You are certainly the prime target, though as the chief financial officer of the School, though the daily expenditure decisions were largely mine to make. I stand by them and have documentation to support their propriety. However, while we both know that no wrong doing will be found, the truth will matter little as it does not serve the President’s purpose to be rid of yet another Dean of Arts & Sciences who she cannot control and bend to her will.

It saddens me all the more that the Provost* has been complicit in all of this when her role as chief academic officer of the College is to be an advocate for her deans. Gone are the remnants of mutual respect that used to exist between the Dean’s Office and the Provost. Thus I feel I cannot remain here and have no choice but to leave a job I love and co-workers I respect and admire.

I regret leaving the many wonderful colleagues I have in the Dean’s Office and throughout the College. I have learned a great deal from them, and your thoughtful, insightful and steady leadership has helped me through some difficult challenges and are examples of compassionate and effective management that I will take with me as I move on to a new position as an Associate Dean at Boston University’s School of Management. I am the better for having served under you.

I pledge to you and my colleagues that I will make myself available during and after the transition so that my departure will not have a negative impact on the ability of the Dean’s Office to fulfill its obligations and continue to serve the students and faculty well. You may all feel free to call on me any time.

Thank you for your good counsel, your support, and the collegial atmosphere you have created. Many of the accomplishments of which I am most proud would not have been possible without your leadership.

With sincere thanks and appreciation,
Maria Doelger Anderson PhD
Assistant Dean for Operations


*June 18, 2018: “the Provost” is a reference to former Provost Vita Rabinowitz.

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