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Linda A. Bell named Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Barnard College President Debora L. Spar today announced the appointment of Linda A. Bell as provost and dean of the faculty, beginning October 1, 2012. She will serve as the chief academic officer of the College and oversee the library as well as all academic departments, programs, and centers. 

“I am privileged to join the Barnard community and excited by the opportunity to work closely with Barnard’s distinguished faculty to influence the next generation of women leaders,” said Prof. Bell. “And, of course, it is an honor to serve with President Spar who has tremendous vision and ambition for the College and the experience and energy to make great things happen. I very much look forward to getting to know the faculty and staff in the months ahead and to being part of this outstanding institution.”

Since 2007, Prof. Bell has been provost and the John B. Hurford Professor of Economics at Haverford College, as well as a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. Prior to Haverford, she was a senior economist in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and has held visiting appointments at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and at Stanford University.

President Spar noted, “In the many conversations that led to this important decision, Prof. Bell proved to be a compassionate communicator and a natural leader. From her years spent at Haverford, with its Quaker values and strength in the liberal arts, she understands how to work in a consensus-building environment to enhance academic excellence for students and faculty. And as a result of her career as an economist, she has become masterful at using data to inform decision making. We are excited that Prof. Bell will bring this balance of perspectives to her new position at Barnard.”

Debra Minkoff, chair of the department of sociology, and Fred Neuhouser, Viola Manderfeld Professor of German and chair of the department of philosophy, served as co-chairs of the search committee. “We are extremely pleased that Prof. Bell will be joining Barnard as its next provost and dean of the faculty. Her leadership and scholarly accomplishments set her apart and we have no doubt that she will generate the same enthusiasm and respect among our colleagues as she has among the members of the search committee,” Minkoff said.

Anna Quindlen’74, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, trustee emerita, chair emerita, and a member of the search committee, added, “Linda Bell’s depth of intellect and experience impressed all of us on the search committee enormously. I look forward to welcoming her to Barnard, a place that is a natural fit for her exceptional leadership abilities.” 

Prof. Bell received her PhD from Harvard in 1986, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981, where she was a University Scholar. She has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Labor, and National Economic Research Associates. As an empirical economist, she specializes in labor markets and public policy and has written and lectured extensively on the topic of compensation, union concessions, and hours of work in the U.S. and Europe. Most recently, her extensively published research has focused on the determination of gender compensation differences in executive pay among U.S. large corporations generally, and on female mentorship at the executive level specifically.