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Dean of College Dolan to step down at end of 2023–2024 academic year

Woman sitting in a chair with glasses smiling
Jill Dolan, Princeton's dean of the college
Courtesy of the Office of the Dean of the College

Dean of the College Jill Dolan will step down on June 30, 2024, the end of the 2023–24 academic year, the University announced Thursday. She plans to take a two-year sabbatical and then retire from the faculty, where she serves as a professor of English and theater, in 2026. Dolan is one of the best-recognized administrators among students and one of the most accessible members of the administration.

Jennifer Rexford, the University Provost, will lead a search committee for a new Dean of the College. The goal is for the search to be concluded by “next summer,” according to a University press release. Rexford, former chair of the Computer Science Department, was appointed as the Provost last fall


Dolan’s departure marks the latest high-profile turnover in University administration since the move of former provost Deborah Prentice to the University of Cambridge. She is the fifth Cabinet member to resign in the past year, which has also seen the departure or planned departure of many administrators focused on student life, including Dean of Undergraduate Students Kathleen Deignan and Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students Tom Dunne. Other recent changes include the appointments of Peter Schiffer as Dean of Research and Katie Callow-Wright as executive vice president.

This also comes amid leadership change at many of Princeton’s peer institutions, including new or departing presidents at Yale, Harvard, M.I.T., and Stanford.

“It’s been an enormously rich and exciting experience to be part of the multi-pronged effort of overseeing the undergraduate academic experience at Princeton,” Dolan said in an announcement posted on the University’s website.

As Dean of the College, Dolan was the senior administrator overseeing undergraduate affairs, including the curriculum, residential college system, admission, and financial aid. She served as a point of contact for undergraduates for many of the University’s most consequential and emotional announcements, from updates about COVID-19 to the deaths of multiple students.

“I want students to know that the administration has a lot of good will and they really want to do the right thing and be as transparent as possible,” Dolan told the ‘Prince’ in 2015.

Dolan joined the University in 2008 as a professor in the English department and the Lewis Center of the Arts. Her research focuses on contemporary American feminism and queer theater and performance, including her blog The Feminist Spectator.


The previous Dean of the College, Valerie Smith, served four years, from 2011 until 2015. She left Princeton to serve as the president of Swarthmore College

This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Miriam Waldvogel is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’

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