Wilson School professor Cecilia Rouse, a top education policy analyst and a former economic adviser to President Obama, will lead the Wilson School as its next dean, the University announced Monday, taking the wheel of an institution as it undergoes rapid changes to its undergraduate curriculum.
Rouse spent two years, from March 2009 to March 2011, on leave from the University to serve as the deputy chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C. On the council, Rouse primarily focused on issues in postsecondary education.
Rouse, who joined the faculty in 1992, takes over at the Wilson School following the departure of former Wilson School Dean Christina Paxson, who began as president of Brown University on July 1. Wilson School professor Anne Case GS ’88 has served as interim dean over the summer and will step down from her post on Sept. 1, when Rouse begins her tenure.
Rouse's appointment comes at a time of immense change for the Wilson School. Over the past two years, the school has scrapped selective admission to the undergraduate major and revamped its undergraduate curriculum. These reforms followed a Wilson School commission to reevaluate its undergraduate education.
It remains unclear if Paxson’s departure will jeopardize the durability of her reforms; Rouse has not said publicly whether she supports the changes to the undergraduate program.
“My goal will be to elevate even further the school's stature and impact in the policy arena — it should be the go-to place for anyone interested in dynamic, insightful, timely domestic and international policy analysis and dialogue, and where a diverse set of undergraduate and graduate students are trained to become the policy leaders of the future,” Rouse said in a statement.
Paxson, who said in an email that she has not yet spoken to Rouse about her appointment, explained that Rouse should feel free to chart her own agenda, rather than feel compelled to simply follow through with the reforms that her predecessor set into motion.
"I expect that she will work with the Woodrow Wilson School faculty to make the best choices for the School and, most likely, to move it in interesting new directions," she said.
With Friday’s announcement, the University stuck to the timeline it initially laid out when Paxson was chosen as Brown’s 19th president in March: President Shirley Tilghman said at the time that she hoped to have a new dean by the end of July. However, she also said that the University would appoint an interim dean if a selection had not been made by then. The University named Case as interim dean in April, two months before that deadline.
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/07/30/31043/