Earlier this afternoon, Claremont McKenna College (CMC) announced that its Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Peter Uvin, has decided to step down. Appointed as dean in 2015, Uvin was heavily involved in the founding of CMC’s CARE Center.
In an email to the student body, CMC President Hiram Chodosh wrote that “[d]uring Peter’s tenure as Dean, which began in 2015, the College has made significant progress in many areas, including successful faculty recruitment and development; the founding of the CARE Center and close collaborations with the Dean of Students office; academic planning for integrated sciences, as well as computer and data science; support for advanced research; and our academic innovations in response to COVID-19.”
Chodosh voiced his intention to announce a new dean position in addition to interim deans:
“I am extremely grateful to Associate Deans Shana Levin and Emily Wiley, who have graciously agreed to step up in the interim and share the responsibilities of the Dean of the Faculty for the remainder of the semester. In addition, we will recruit and appoint a third associate dean who will be able to support the work of the Dean of the Faculty’s Office this academic year.”
Uvin was also involved with the Heterodox Academy, a non-partisan organization of professors and graduate students dedicated to promoting intellectual diversity and freedom of speech on college campuses. In 2018, CMC was the first California college to receive the highest level free speech rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
Last semester, Dean Uvin was criticized by student activists, accused of not sufficiently advancing a Universal Pass/Incomplete/No Record Pandemic policy at CMC. Amid racial unrest and student protests, CMC Dean of Students Mary Spellman resigned in 2015. It is unclear at this time if the pandemic or current racial tensions in the United States played any role in Uvin’s decision to step down, as student activists have not overtly criticized him in recent months.
Claremont McKenna College declined the Independent’s request for comment about the reason for Uvin’s resignation; Uvin has not responded to the Independent’s request for comment by the time of publication.
Uvin is also a professor of government at CMC, currently teaching a course called “Alternative Perspectives on Development.” According to CMC’s website, his areas of expertise include “Burundi, Conflict resolution, Development, Food policy, Human Rights, NGO scaling up, Rwanda.”
This article has been updated to contain additional information on Peter Uvin’s role at CMC.