Interim Dean of Seidenberg School

Dr. Constance Knapp
Interim Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Dear Colleagues—

I am pleased to inform you that after a thorough, deliberative process I have appointed Dr. Constance Knapp to the position of Interim Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. Dr. Knapp is a long-standing member of the school with a deep understanding of the central issues it and the University face in the short and long term, and I am confident that her leadership in this role will be exceptional.

This process has been a challenging but fruitful one. I spoke with many faculty members in the school and in other areas of the university, consulted taskforce members and other external experts, President Friedman, and also Ivan Seidenberg. The discussion has made it clear that there are real challenges but myriad opportunities for the school to pursue. I want to especially acknowledge the important feedback the other three candidates provided in this process. The faculty expertise and leadership Dr. Farkas and Dr. Anderson brought to our conversations highlighted important opportunities for both focus and growth in curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dan’s understanding of the potential for international programming and Dennis’ advocacy for integration of graduate informatics curricula across schools and the college will be important areas for Seidenberg to consider as it moves forward. I value their collegiality and guidance in this process, and trust we will be able to avail ourselves of their expertise going forward. Dr. Jonathan Hill provided excellent analysis of Seidenberg’s potential in enrollment and programmatic structure by leveraging his corporate expertise. All three reflected the collective desire to move the school forward with innovation, streamlined management, and rigor.
I believe Interim Dean Knapp has the intellect, skill, and expertise to lead Seidenberg through its current transition. She has served admirably in the school as its current faculty council chair, collaborated across the university as Co-director of the Pforzheimer Faculty Development Center, and is highly regarded as a fair but tough-minded manager.

As Connie indicated to me, her vision is grounded in innovative collaboration:

"The next twelve to eighteen months are critical for the future of the Seidenberg School. Our efforts to increase enrollment must be expanded to include interdisciplinary collaboration that would include developing and teaching courses with faculty in other schools and developing joint programs. I believe that Seidenberg will grow through collaboration with a focus on technology, transforming courses either as part of course content or delivery. I envision a school whose motto might be ‘transformation through technology,’ where transformation involves the student, the faculty member, the discipline and the educational experience. We need to redesign curricula, improve the methods of delivery and change the traditional ways of thinking about our disciplines. I am honored to have been chosen to lead the Seidenberg School at this significant moment in its history and I am confident that we will meet these challenges."

I ask you to join me in welcoming Dr. Constance Knapp in her new position as Interim Dean.

Geoffrey L. Brackett, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
Provost & Executive V.P. for Academic Affairs