Middlebury dean stepping down to return to classroom

MIDDLEBURY — Katy Smith Abbott will resign her position as Middlebury College’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of the College at the end of the year, College President Laurie L. Patton announced in an email to students last Friday afternoon.
“I am both saddened at the thought of not having her as a member of the senior administration and pleased that she is remaining at Middlebury and following her academic and personal interests,” Patton wrote.
According to Patton, Smith Abbott will return full-time to her faculty position in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. Smith Abbott first arrived at Middlebury in 1996. Her research focuses on the production and reception of devotional painting in early 15 century Florence.
In 2011, she was appointed the dean of students and then to her current position in 2014.
In her current position, Smith Abbott oversees student life and diversity initiatives at Middlebury College. In keeping with the college’s commitment to be a model for the 21st-century liberal arts education, in which learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom, her office works closely with a variety of programs and offices on campus to enrich the intellectual and personal development of all Middlebury students.
 “I’m delighted that Katy has agreed to remain in her position through December and we will have time to celebrate her service as that time approaches,” she wrote.
Patton said that Dean of Students Baishakhi Taylor, who came to Middlebury with Patton from Duke University in 2015, will serve as interim vice president for student affairs starting Jan. 1. 

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