Inauguration: Greetings from the Faculty

by Danielle H. Dube, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

President Zaki, students, staff, trustees, fellow faculty, and guests: It is an honor to speak here today on behalf of the faculty to welcome President Zaki as our sixteenth president at Bowdoin.

During the presidential search committee listening sessions that I attended last year, when faculty were asked to share what qualities we sought in a president, the faculty spoke with animation about recruiting someone who is an advocate for the liberal arts and humanities, who believes in and protects time for scholarly work, and who understands the importance of building meaningful relationships in our community.

We spoke about wanting someone who champions diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work, who is committed to shared governance and believes in faculty autonomy in the process.

We sought someone who would break the mold of college presidents.

We are so excited about the outcome of this search. President Zaki has committed her career to being a faculty member at a liberal arts institution, and she cares as deeply about this model of education as the Bowdoin faculty do. She loves spending time in the lab doing her research, and she misses it; she loves getting to know and connect with students, faculty, staff, and the community, and she has begun to do that here; she also believes the best way to protect this type of education is to advocate and fight for it. We admire that and are grateful for it.

President Zaki, on behalf of the faculty, I welcome you. We applaud your bravery in stepping into this role at a moment when higher education is being scrutinized and the tenets of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work are being called into question across the country and around the world. You have our wishes for a successful presidency. We stand ready to work and collaborate with you to achieve a shared vision of what Bowdoin is and what Bowdoin can be.

Thank you.