Date: April 6, 2021
TO: The Gallatin School Community
FROM: Andrew Hamilton, NYU President and Katherine Fleming, NYU Provost

Under Susanne Wofford’s leadership, the Gallatin School has stood out on our campus as a hub of creativity, intellectual vibrancy, and academic and artistic innovation. Faculty around the University often speak of the particular energy, liveliness, and curiosity that Gallatin students bring to their classes.

For nearly 14 years, Susanne has been responsible for developing, fostering, directing, and sustaining that culture, with remarkable results. Gallatin’s students have gone on to be campus leaders and recipients of the most impressive recognitions for undergraduates, and the creative and research output of Gallatin faculty has had an outsized impact.

So when Susanne recently came to us to discuss her plans to step down as dean at the end of academic year 2021-22 and return to the faculty following a sabbatical year, we greeted the news with a mix of sorrow about her departure, gratitude for her many years of service, and admiration for her many achievements.

During Susanne’s deanship, the number of full-time faculty members at Gallatin has more than doubled, and that increase was accompanied both by an improvement in the ratio of students to full-time faculty and by an increase in the faculty’s academic, creative, and research strength. Academic areas bolstered by Susanne’s faculty-building include the history of science and science studies; medieval and renaissance studies; African studies, political economy and geography; classics and ancient art history; music and musicology; architecture and design; in legal studies and human rights; African-American literary and cultural studies; visual arts and theater arts; and environmental studies, to name a few. She also established the Gallatin Global Faculty in Residence program, the Distinguished Faculty Lectures series, the Gallatin Faculty Research Fellowship, and the Gallatin Faculty Global Symposia, all in support of faculty scholarship.

Of particular note, Susanne was responsible for raising funds for Gallatin’s first endowed faculty chairs: the Guess Distinguished Professorship in Fashion Business, the Albert Gallatin Research Excellence Professorship, and the Gallatin Distinguished Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies.

In all, Susanne Wofford raised more than $64 million for Gallatin as its dean, some three-quarters of which was directed to student scholarships. Among the many programs she established to support students are the Gallatin-Africa House Bergman Fellowship, The Dean’s Award for Summer Research, the Horn Family Fund for Environmental Research, the Gallatin China Summer Scholarship, the Gallatin Innovation Scholars program, the Gallatin Fashion Show, the Dean’s Conference Fund, the Gallatin Student Research Fund, and the Gallatin Student Needs Fund. In addition, in collaboration with faculty, the school undertook significant academic and curricular development at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, and expanded resources for advising, Student Life and Community Engagement efforts, and Gallatin’s Internship office.

Susanne is also one of the principal originators of NYU’s Prison Education Program, collaborating with faculty and academic leaders from other NYU schools to make this remarkable effort not only happen but succeed. The PEP effort is emblematic of how greatly Susanne has contributed to the University community through her warmth and wisdom, her passion for the arts and humanities, and her manifest commitment to the well-being and education of all students.

For all these reasons and more, we ask you to join us in thanking Susanne for her years of outstanding service and in wishing her well as a good friend, a valued colleague, and a greatly respected academic leader within our community.