The College announced Monday that Margaret Hazlett, senior associate dean of student affairs at Bowdoin College, will be replacing Kent Trachte as dean of the College.


When Trachte announced his intentions to take a position at Lycoming College, a search committee was formed to look for candidates to fill his position as dean of the College. The search began with a pool of over 200 candidates that were gathered by a consulting agency, committee members, and other networks at the disposal of the College.

After reviewing the résumés and conducting countless interviews, the list was narrowed down to three candidates that were brought to campus for on-site interviews. From this list the committee decided Hazlett was the best choice for the position.

“First, we were looking for the ability to work well with others in a team approach,” said David Proulx, vice president for finance and administration, treasurer, and a member of the search committee, when asked about the top three qualities the committee was looking for in a candidate. “Second, is the ability to take a high-level leadership position on the critical student life and student development aspects of the College. Finally, is an overall sensitivity and attention to student risk management.”

All of the committee members who were interviewed at press time agreed that Hazlett exemplified these qualities and placed special emphasis on her experience in the aspects of student life and student risk management.

Another draw to Hazlett over other candidates was her experience with the College House system, as Bowdoin College has a very similar system, and, before transferring to Bowdoin, Hazlett worked as an assistant master (similar to a prefect) at Princeton University.

“I love the house system for two reasons: a) they promote student involvement, and b) they get the faculty involved,” Hazlett said. “I’m really looking forward to meeting with the House Dons and getting their perspectives on the [College] House system to see what their vision of the system is. Also I look forward to talking with students and listening to people to find the limits of the system so we can work to make a good system even better.”

This passion for the house system is particularly important due to how the dean of the College and the houses interact.

“The dean of the College is one of the senior staff members who works most closely with the provost and dean of the faculty, since students and faculty create the educational experience at F&M together,” said Ann Steiner, provost and dean of faculty. “One space where the collaboration is most visible is in the College House system. As I looked at candidates, I was particularly interested in those who demonstrated the potential to work in a collegial and productive way with the provost and the College House dons. Hazlett exceeded my hopes.”

Other than the house system, Hazlett is also looking forward to becoming involved with other aspects of campus and student life as well.

Even though Bowdoin College phased out its fraternities in 2000 in favor of a more inclusive house system, Hazlett expressed excitement in learning more about the F&M Greek system and working with the existing organizations to improve upon the system.

“I am really excited to learn more about the Greek system,” Hazlett said. “It’s something I have not been exposed to in the past. However, the fraternities have a long tradition of leadership and leadership ability, as well as a long tradition of philanthropy. I look forward to learning more about it and finding the strengths and weaknesses in order to make it even better.”

Hazlett was chosen due to her extensive experience with student affairs, student life, and student risk management, as well as her collaborative nature.

“We looked for deep experience in student affairs at an institution that is student-centered,” said Sam Houser, chair of the search committee and secretary of the College. “At the same time, we wanted to be sure the candidate would work successfully as a strategic partner with faculty, professional staff and the president, as well as students.”

Other than specifics relating to student life, Hazlett was chosen for, and is looking forward to continuing, her past experience and reputation in being immersed in college life.

“I’m about people and getting to know students outside of my office,” Hazlett said. “[The transition is] about coming in and learning from the history, the tradition, and the culture. I’m not one to come in and shake things up from the get go. But at the same time, change provides opportunity not just for the new person but for everyone to get a new perspective on their situation.”

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