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Transitions in the Dean of the College Office

September 28, 2017

​​Dear Students, Staff and Faculty:

I am writing to inform you of transitions in the Dean of the College Office. Donna Lisker, who has served as Dean of the College and Vice President for Campus Life since 2014, has announced that she will be leaving Smith on December 1.

I am grateful to Donna for the many ways she strengthened Smith College. She launched a visionary women’s leadership program, funded by a $10 million gift. She revitalized athletics, recruiting an outstanding new director and raising the profile of the Smith Pioneers. Under her leadership, graduation and retention rates have been notably improved. I will miss Donna’s insightful counsel and her commitment to student development and the student experience.

I have asked Susan Etheredge ’77, professor of education and child study and a longtime member of the Smith community, to serve as interim dean of the college and vice president for campus life. One of the early recipients of the Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching, Susan was the associate dean of faculty, the inaugural director of our first-year seminar program, and a director of our JYA program in Florence, Italy. She has served on nearly every major leadership committee of the college, including Faculty Council, the Committee on Academic Policy and the Committee on Mission and Priorities.

Susan will fulfill her teaching duties through the end of this semester while spending some time each week focused on her new position. Donna has generously offered to help onboard Susan and to ensure a smooth transition in all of the Dean’s program areas.

Please join me in thanking Donna Lisker for her dedicated service to Smith and welcoming Susan Etheredge as our interim dean of the college.  


Kathleen McCartney