Bates College names Malcolm Hill as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty

Bates President Clayton Spencer announced today that Malcolm S. Hill, Clarence E. Denoon Jr. Professor of Science, former associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and former chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Richmond, will become vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Bates effective July 1, 2018.

Malcolm Hill has been appointed vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Bates College.

“I am thrilled to welcome Malcolm Hill to Bates in this vitally important role,” Spencer said in announcing the appointment. “Malcolm is an outstanding teacher and scholar and a seasoned academic leader with a deep commitment to the liberal arts. At the University of Richmond, he was a driving force in fostering undergraduate research opportunities and in undertaking a variety of initiatives to build diverse and inclusive communities among students, faculty, and staff. I very much look forward to working with Malcolm as the next leader of the Bates faculty.”

“As an educator, I am wholeheartedly committed to the liberal arts, and Bates represents a distinctive and powerful example of this model, given its long history of broadening access to higher education for all,” said Hill.

“This type of education should integrate knowledge, emphasize the power of communication, model intellectual curiosity, focus on the whole person, and encourage us all to live in a world committed to the good of others. I look forward to getting to work as soon as possible and joining such a deep and talented faculty of scholar-educators.”

Hill’s appointment follows a national search overseen by a committee comprising faculty, staff, and the president. Hill will succeed Kathryn Graff Low, who has served as interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty since July 2017, following the appointment of Matthew Auer as dean of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

“He impressed all of us with his intellectual curiosity, his interest in Bates’ history and mission, and the genuineness of his approach to both people and ideas.”

“Speaking on behalf of the search committee, we are delighted that Malcolm will be joining the Bates community,” said Jane Costlow, Clark A. Griffith Professor of Environmental Studies and chair of the selection committee. “There was tremendous interest in this position, and Malcolm emerged early as a compelling candidate. During his visit to campus, he impressed all of us with his intellectual curiosity, his interest in Bates’ history and mission, and the genuineness of his approach to both people and ideas.”

As vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, Hill will work with colleagues to set the intellectual direction of the college, foster a strong faculty culture, and lead the dynamic evolution of the Bates academic experience. A member of Bates’ senior staff, Hill will oversee the college’s academic departments and programs and guide the professional activities of approximately 280 individuals. He will also be responsible for the Academic Resource Commons, Bates College Museum of Art, Bates Dance Festival, the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, the Mathematics and Statistics Workshop, the Office of the Registrar and Academic Systems, the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance, and Writing at Bates.

A faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Richmond since 2004, Hill has taught courses in integrative biology, ecology, evolution, tropical marine biology, biostatistics, and several field seminars. From 2012 to 2015, Hill served as associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and as chair of the Department of Biology from 2008 to 2011.

As a department chair, Hill oversaw the hiring of faculty and staff, improvements to governance to foster inclusivity, and a revision of curriculum in one of the largest majors at the university. During his tenure as associate dean, Hill led the development and implementation of strategic initiatives designed to enhance the academic experience in the arts and sciences, as well as efforts to improve facilities on the campus.

Hill has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in the field of ecology. At the University of Richmond, his projects have focused on the evolutionary ecology of sponges and other invertebrates in tropical marine systems. His research examines population characteristics, and community structure and functions, of coral reefs. His work explores the role climate change is playing in shaping those ecosystems, and focuses on an essential symbiosis that is being disrupted by warming oceans around the world. Working closely with a team of undergraduate researchers and faculty, Hill has received several grants from the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies.

Prior to the University of Richmond, Hill held teaching and research positions in biology at Fairfield University, Harvard University, and the University of Massachusetts Boston. Hill received a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental science from Colby College and a doctorate in evolutionary ecology from the University of Houston.

Hill will come to Bates with his wife, April, a molecular and cell biologist, and their daughter Ruby. His son, Sam, is a graduate student in computer science at Northwestern, and his daughter Katie is finishing a double major in biology and bioethics at the University of Virginia this year.

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