Deans for Murray and Franklin colleges announced

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Pictured are (in the foreground) Ada and Lilly Hill and (back, from left) Charles Bailyn, Jessie Royce Hill, Jonathan Holloway, Tina Lu, Alexander Rosas, and Sarala Nagala. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

The deans of the new residential colleges have been announced by Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway.

Jessie Royce Hill will serve as dean of Benjamin Franklin College, and Alexander Rosas will be dean of Pauli Murray College. They will assume their new roles on July 1

Both of the new deans “emerged from a pool of exceptional candidates to take up these historic, inaugural roles, and both bring to the new deanships their long experience of teaching, advising, and mentoring students,” wrote Holloway in an email announcing the appointments.

Jessie Royce Hill

Hill is currently the dean of Silliman College, a position she has held since 2014. In her role there, she has provided academic and personal counseling to Silliman’s students, supervised its team of freshman counselors, and overseen its freshman advising program. She also worked closely with undergraduates in her roles as associate director and director of on-campus interviewing in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and as a member of the Faculty Committee on Athletics, and on the Mitchell, Marshall, and Rhodes Scholarship committee. She has also for the past two years served as secretary to the steering committee for the new colleges, developing details of the strategic planning for their opening and managing the process of populating them.

Hill earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in European history cum laude from Barnard College and a Master of Science degree with a concentration in print journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism of Columbia University. She teaches “English 120, Reading and Writing the Modern Essay,” in the English Department. Originally from Amherst, she has lived and worked on both the East and West coasts. Her interests range from cycling and fitness to theater and music. Joining her when she moves into the Benjamin Franklin dean’s suite are her daughters, Lily (11) and Ada (9).

Alexander Rosas

Rosas is currently associate director of graduate programs at Yale Law School. He is also a fellow and freshman adviser in Branford College and lecturer in the Department of Political Science. He teaches a freshman seminar titled “Law and (the Limits of) Freedom.” Between 2011 and 2015, Rosas served as assistant professor of political science, director of the Program in Law and Society, and university pre-law adviser at Western New England University, an undergraduate-focused, liberal arts institution. There, his teaching and research focused on issues of justice, human rights, and multiculturalism. He was also particularly involved in diversity-related issues on campus and served on two university-wide committees on diversity and inclusion.

Rosas holds a Ph.D. in jurisprudence and social policy and a J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of California-Berkeley, and a B.A., with honors and distinction, in international relations from Stanford University. He is a member of the New York Bar. Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rosas has lived in New England for five years and travels extensively: He has visited over 40 countries in the past decade. His wife, Sarala, is a federal prosecutor and deputy chief of the National Security and Major Crimes Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office in New Haven; the two met in their contracts class in law school. The couple will move into the Pauli Murray dean’s suite with their two dogs, Marbury and Madison, named after the famous Supreme Court case.

‘Extraordinary four-person team’

“Together with Professors Charles Bailyn and Tina Lu, the heads of the new colleges, Ms. Hill and Mr. Rosas make up an extraordinary four-person team that is superbly equipped to open Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray Colleges,” said Holloway. “I expect that they will draw on their collective experiences, skills, and talents as they build both colleges’ communities, establish their traditions, and support their students.”

The search committees for the deans, which were chaired by the respective head of college, were: Benjamin Franklin — Jeanne Follansbee, Ayaska Fernando, Jack Zhou, Mallory Isburg, Yichern Tan, and Yuki Hayashi; and Pauli Murray — Rebecca Tynan, Bill Massa, Pamela George, Heidi Dong, Dianne Kaiyoorawongs, and Robert Short.

“They all worked tirelessly toward reaching this excellent outcome, and to them I owe a debt of gratitude,” said Holloway.

Campus & Community

Part of the In Focus Collection: Yale’s new residential colleges

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