April 6, 2018
To the Members of the Connecticut College Community,
I am pleased to write with the news that, effective July 1, Jeffrey Cole will become the next dean of the faculty at Connecticut College.
Jeff has served as associate dean under Abby Van Slyck since 2015. During that time, he has collaborated on the implementation of Connections, coordinated faculty professional development programs, and supported the College’s involvement in the C3 consortium, as well as other efforts aimed at supporting an increasingly diverse faculty and student body. He has served on numerous committees related to institutional reaccreditation, the curriculum, and strategic planning. He has also continued supervising individual studies and honors theses for students in the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment and in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts.
Jeff joined Connecticut College in 2008 as chair of the Department of Anthropology after serving for nearly 15 years on the faculty of Dowling College where he was assistant professor, associate professor, and professor of anthropology. At Connecticut College, he has offered popular courses on food, drink, and migration, and led students on ethnographic trips through Long Island and New York City. As chair, he worked with his department to re-structure the curriculum, transform the student experience, and hire and mentor exceptional new faculty.
He received his first bachelor’s degree from Portland State University, another undergraduate degree from the University of Oslo, and a doctorate from the City University of New York. His scholarship has focused on food and agriculture, migration, ethnicity, and race. His first book, “A New Racism in Europe: A Sicilian Ethnography” (1997), examines everyday reactions to immigrants on the part of both rich and poor Italians in the city of Palermo. It also studies the regional variations in forms of political mobilization. His second book, “Dirty Work: Immigrants in Domestic Service, Agriculture, and Prostitution in Sicily” (2007), with Sally Booth, examines the contours and consequences of immigrant employment in rural and urban Sicily. Together with Pietro Saitta of the University of Messina, Jeff co-edited two special issues of the Journal of Modern Italian Studies devoted to the second generation. He is also editor of a one-volume encyclopedia on identity, “Ethnic Groups of Europe” (2011).
He is the recipient of grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren, the Fulbright program, and the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation. He served as president (2012-14) of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, a section of the American Anthropological Association.
I want to thank all the members of the search committee whose deeply respectful listening and thoughtful engagement with me, with each other, and with their faculty colleagues made this a very meaningful and rewarding process: Maria Cruz-Saco, the Joanne Toor Cummings ’50 Professor of Economics; Simon Feldman, associate professor of philosophy; Ruth Grahn, associate professor of psychology; David Jaffe, professor of theater; and Tanya Schneider, associate professor of chemistry. I am also grateful to the many faculty and staff who shared their time and their views in the course of the search process. Finally, I hope you will join me in thanking Abby Van Slyck for her years of dedicated service, while welcoming Jeff to this new appointment.