CAS Dean Robbin Crabtree named Dean at LMU, Los Angeles
Robbin Crabtree, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, will return to her native California to assume the position of dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a Jesuit institution in Los Angeles.
Dr. Crabtree first came to Fairfield University in fall 2001 as chair of the Communication Department. She served in this capacity for six years. Concurrently, she founded the Office of Service Learning and was director for two years, from 2006-2008. She became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in the summer of 2008, the first woman to serve permanently in that position.
During her tenure as dean, Dr. Crabtree has been singled out for several awards and recognitions. She was a national finalist in 2013 for the “Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award,” sponsored by Campus Compact. She was given the “Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award” by the Connecticut ACE Network (American Council on Education) in 2013. She was a finalist for the “Susan Koppelman Award for Best Edited Book in Feminist Studies in Popular and American Culture” by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association in 2009, and was recognized as “Teacher of the Year” by Fairfield’s Alpha Sigma Nu chapter in 2007. She had the “Top Paper in Health Communication,” awarded by the Western States Communication Association in 2006, and she had the “Top Article in Technical & Scientific Communication,” awarded by the Society for Technical Communication in 2005. Dr. Crabtree won the “Cecilia Konchar Farr Award for Best Feminist Essay” from the Rocky Mountain Modern Languages Association in 2002.
In making the announcement at Fairfield, Rev. Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., senior vice president for Academic Affairs, praised her as an excellent collaborator and colleague who accomplished a great deal. “In her six years as dean of the College, she led a renewal of the CAS governance document, developed and implemented a very fruitful program of academic program review, managed enrollments to optimize instructional resources, developed and launched four new graduate programs, led a very professional office staff, and mentored the department chairs and program directors for the greater good of the College and the University.
“During her deanship, we have hired more than 40 extraordinary and diverse new faculty in the College contributing to the high quality, Jesuit, global and multicultural education we provide for students. Dean Crabtree grew the CAS advisory board membership by engaging alumni, parents, and friends from across the country. Working jointly with others across the institution, Dean Crabtree helped launch the Integrative Nursing and Health Sciences Initiatives, and contributed to the development of the innovative “From Classroom to Career” initiative. Dean Crabtree leaves Fairfield a stronger and more mission-centered university,” Fr. Fitzgerald said.
Fairfield President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., who is a former LMU trustee, said of the appointment, “Dr. Crabtree has been an important member of the Fairfield community since 2001. She was an exceptional dean of our College of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, the hiring-for-mission conversations she implemented with search committees have had an important impact in ensuring Fairfield’s continued Catholic and Jesuit identity. I have no doubt she will be a terrific Ignatian leader for LMU’s Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.”
Dean Crabtree, reflecting on her time at Fairfield said, “I have enjoyed welcoming and collaborating with the cohort of outstanding deans of our schools and will depart Fairfield as a better leader for having been among their ranks. These relationships bode very well for the next Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who will find a vibrant intellectual community poised to collaborate on exciting new interdisciplinary and cross-school projects and revenue-generating opportunities.
“I will miss the College faculty, world-class teacher-scholars who I count as cherished colleagues and dear friends. I will miss our wonderful students and alumni, many of whom I have been privileged to teach, mentor, and send across the stage at each year’s Commencement. As dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at LMU, I will have the tremendous opportunity to lead at a sister Jesuit University in my home state, and I will be able to bring so much I have learned at Fairfield to a new set of challenges. I look forward to continuing to live my passionate commitment for the liberal arts in the Jesuit tradition and staying close to the faculty and academic programs, doing the work I enjoy so much,” she said.