Quimby graduated from The Governor’s Academy in 1985 and is in his fourth year serving on its board of trustees.
“As a volunteer, I was very invested in charting the future of the school, and when the opportunity came up to implement the plan that I’d had a hand in forming [as a trustee], it was just an incredibly attractive opportunity,” he said.
As deputy dean of the college, Quimby oversees a portfolio including the Freshman Seminar Program, the Community-Based Learning Initiative, the Writing Program, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, the Freshman Scholars Institute and the Program in Teacher Preparation.
Quimby was hired as associate dean of the college in 2005 and was appointed deputy dean in 2008.
“Dean Quimby is a deeply thoughtful and creative educator and a brilliant leader and administrator,” Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel said in an e-mail. “He’s been a superb colleague in every way, and he will be greatly, greatly missed.”
Malkiel praised Quimby’s leadership of many academic support services on campus, as well as his other roles.
“He has been responsible ... for significant restructuring of the dean’s office and the portfolios and oversight responsibilities each of us holds. The result, I think, is that we are able to do our jobs at a higher level of effectiveness and provide better service to faculty and students across the University.”
Quimby will remain at the University until June 30, 2011. Malkiel said the University will begin a national search for a new deputy dean in January, and the final selection will be made in the spring.
While his administrative duties have not left him much opportunity to interact with students, Quimby has been able to forge relationships with student athletes as the University’s faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and as an academic-athletic fellow for the field hockey and men’s hockey teams.
“I think I speak for everyone involved with Tiger field hockey when I say that we couldn’t have been more fortunate to have him as part of the team,” Alexandra Douwes ’11, co-captain of the field hockey team, said in an e-mail. “His departure is bittersweet. We are all extremely happy for him and understand how exciting it must be to have this opportunity, but at the same time (selfishly) we are very sad that he’s leaving us and will miss his support, positive energy and enthusiasm terribly.”
“Some people say, ‘I’m here if you ever need anything,’ and he did that, but he went beyond that,” said Alan Reynolds ’11, a member of the men’s hockey team. “He was very involved and a very positive and helpful person.”
Beyond his role in providing academic support to the athletes, members of the field hockey and men’s ice hockey team spoke of Quimby’s support on the sidelines.
“He has traveled with us to our games and is cheering us on from the sidelines whenever he can,” Douwes said. “Recently he has even started sporting an orange wig during warm-up, which shows how enthusiastic he is about the team and Princeton athletics in general.”
Sam Sabky ’11, another member of the men’s hockey team, spoke similarly of Quimby’s support. “We honestly can’t count the number of bus rides and flights Dean Quimby and his son Tim have joined us on,” he said in an e-mail. “They were at every team meal with us. On the bench, he would celebrate when we scored and be just as riled up as us when something went wrong during the game.”
“He and Tim came all the way to our lift at Jadwin because he wanted to tell us the news face-to-face. That’s the kind of guy he is, and we all respect him enormously,” Sabky added. “Fortunately for us, we have one more year with him, so we’re all extremely excited about him and Tim joining us on the bench and on the bus for one more year.”
The headmaster’s position was a natural choice for Quimby. “I think that the headmastership is really a logical culmination of the work that I’ve done with Princeton and Yale,” he said. Prior to becoming associate dean at Princeton, Quimby served as a lecturer in political science at Yale and dean of Davenport residential college there.
“At Yale, I was very much living at the heart of a residential community,” he said. “So I’ve had the experience of shaping and nurturing a campus community and loved it, and I’ve had the experience at Princeton of thinking broadly about issues of undergraduate education ... It’s a logical next step and a fairly unique opportunity.”
Quimby said he is looking forward to being more involved in the greater campus community at The Governor’s Academy.
“I’m really looking forward to having more contact with students than I’ve been able to have with my time at Princeton,” he explained.
“As headmaster, I’ll have the same overall responsibility for the workings at the institution as a college president has,” he added. “It’ll be very different looking in and focusing on the culture and quality of campus and thinking strategically about the vision and mission of the institution.”
With nine months left as deputy dean, Quimby is still very focused on his duties at the University. However, when asked to give advice to a potential successor, he replied, “I think that we have remarkably accomplished staff members in the Dean of the College office. One thing I would say is that whoever does succeed me will be incredibly fortunate to work with people who care so much about the undergraduate experience.”