Six Deans of Hobart College – Brophy, Hussain, Baer, Butler, Guarasci and Love – gathered in honor of the Bicentennial.
In the history of Hobart College, there have been only 16 Deans who have worked to guide and assist each Hobart student to reach their fullest potential during their years at the College. In conjunction with Hobart Bicentennial’s Charter Day events, current Dean of Hobart College Scott Brophy ’78, P’12 coordinated a virtual panel discussion with five former deans to reflect on the long-standing traditions of the campus and offer insight into Hobart’s promising future.
Titled “Hobart College Deans of Yore: A Panel Discussion,” the discussion was held on Zoom on Thursday, April 21. Charter Day is one of Hobart’s most important annual celebrations and is held each spring to commemorate the granting of Hobart’s charter by the State of New York on April 10, 1822. Brophy served as moderator of the event.
“The Deans of Hobart can offer an interesting set of perspectives about its students and its history,” says Brophy. “In addition to working individually with students, the Deans also curate the institution’s traditions and the values those traditions express. An important part of celebrating the Bicentennial is to reflect upon the past to understand what we do that is worth preserving, especially as we continue to navigate the College’s course in the decades and centuries ahead.”
Brophy, the 16th Dean of Hobart College (2020-Present), is also a Professor of Philosophy. In addition to teaching and writing about the history of philosophy and on public policy, especially in the areas of law, the environment and education, he has served in a variety of faculty leadership roles including twice as presiding officer of the faculty, twice as the chair of the committee on academic affairs and more than a decade as chair of the Philosophy Department. He is the author and principal investigator of numerous publications and grants, and has twice received awards from the faculty, once in recognition of his teaching and again in appreciation for his service to the community.
Former Deans who joined the discussion include:
Khuram Hussain, the 15th Dean of Hobart College (2018 – 2020), is an Associate Professor of Education and the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at HWS. His research examines social actors who work to reinscribe schooling as a site for culturally responsive, community-oriented, democratic learning. His work has been recognized by the NAACP, the U.S. Armed Forces, and community and campus organizations nationwide; as well as by HWS faculty.
Eugen Baer P’95, P’97, the 14th Dean of Hobart College (2006-2018) and Professor of Philosophy (1971-2018), taught courses in semiotics, philosophy of language and European studies, while authoring a substantial interdisciplinary body of scholarship. He served as chair of the HWS Department of Philosophy, was an advisor to Hobart Student Government and Orange Key Society and served on numerous critical committees related to academic affairs, alums, appointments, curriculum and tenure at the Colleges. Baer has published 10 books and is the author of scores of articles and book chapters exploring philosophy, religion and culture.
Clarence E. Butler L.H.D. ’06, 13th Dean of Hobart College (1998-2006), served on many committees, including the Committee on Standards, the Individual Major Committee and the President’s Advisory Council. In addition to his administrative duties, Butler, an Episcopal priest, also served as assistant dean, assistant professor of German and interim Chaplain.
Richard Guarasci was the 11th Dean of Hobart College (1992-1997). He is now President Emeritus of Wagner College on Staten Island in New York City. He served from 2002 until 2019 as its longest serving president. Previously, he was Wagner’s Provost from 1997 until his appointment as president. Guarasci is a national leader in democratic education and civic engagement. He most recently authored a major book on this topic, “Neighborhood Democracy: Building Anchor Partnerships Between Colleges and Their Communities.” He chaired the Boards of Directors of the major national higher education associations concerned with undergraduate education as well as those committed to civic engagement. At Hobart, Guarasci founded the Day of Service program in Geneva and initiated the Colleges’ community-based learning courses with his political science course, “Politics, Community and Service” in 1995.
Charles E. Love Jr. ’62, 9th Dean of Hobart College (1973-1982), graduated from Hobart College, summa cum laude, in 1962. While at Hobart, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the Druid Society. He was editor of the Herald and co-editor of the Echo and Pine. He completed graduate work in philosophy at Princeton University on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. After teaching at Antioch College for five years, he was invited back to be the Dean of Hobart where he served from 1973 to 1982.