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Northwestern University
Mark Ratnerleft

A College at the Crossroads

Transitions are by definition trans-formative events. For individuals and institutions alike, they represent an evolution from what has been to what might be, from a past full of success and accomplishment to a future rich with exciting new possibilities. 

Much like the students of the Class of 2018 who arrived on campus just a few short months ago, Weinberg College is also embarking on a journey of growth and transition. As interim dean for the current academic year, I have the privilege of overseeing what I believe will be the start of an extremely creative period in the College’s history.

Our transformation has already begun. A comprehensive renovation of Kresge Hall, home to many of our humanities programs and faculty, started this fall and is scheduled for completion in December 2016. Much work has been done with faculty, staff, students and alumni to develop a strategic plan for the College that will lay out the specific steps we will take to make Weinberg an even better college of arts and sciences than it is today. Finally, We will. The Campaign for Northwestern launched this past March. We will is an outreach initiative that will provide the College with the financial resources needed to realize the ambitious goals that will form the foundation of our strategic plan. 

Given the variety of roles I’ve played at the College over the years — student, professor, department chair and associate dean, to name a few — I guess it’s not so surprising that I would end up serving as dean at some point as well. As a Weinberg College alum, I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to give back to this great school. A national search for a new, permanent Weinberg College dean is under way, with the aim of identifying an exceptional individual with the leadership skills required to guide our transform-a-tion forward. When our new dean arrives on campus, he or she will discover a vibrant intellectual community firmly committed to the ideals of a liberal arts and sciences education. It is a community of which I am very proud to be a part. 

Enjoy this new issue of Weinberg magazine and let us know what you think. I look forward to working both for and with all of you in the months ahead. 


Mark Ratner 
Interim Dean, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

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