Rebecca L. Walkowitz Appointed as the Next Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Barnard College

Walkowitz, currently Dean of Humanities at Rutgers University, will join Barnard effective June 1st.

Photography by Martha Castro

Barnard President Laura Rosenbury announced this afternoon that she has appointed Rebecca L. Walkowitz as the new Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Barnard, effective June 1st. This decision follows a nationwide search by the Provost search committee, co-chaired by Professor Rachel Austin and Professor Monica Miller. 

With a distinguished career spanning over a decade at Rutgers University, Walkowitz is renowned for her expertise in global modernism, contemporary Anglophone and multilingual fiction, world literature, and translation studies.

“What I love about being an academic is the multigenerational community we build together inside and outside the classroom,” Walkowitz said in a Barnard Instagram post. 

A recipient of the prestigious Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research in 2020, Walkowitz’s contributions to academia extend far beyond her many honors and accolades. At Rutgers since 2007, she has held pivotal roles including Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in English and spearheaded a multidisciplinary initiative in Modernism and Globalization. Currently, Walkowitz is Rutgers’ Dean of Humanities and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of English in the School of Arts and Sciences. Her leadership was marked by significant accomplishments such as overseeing a department serving approximately 19,000 Rutgers students annually, reorganizing the Writing Program, and leading the department through its inaugural Associate Professor Mentoring Program.

Her forthcoming role at Barnard College signals a strategic move towards fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarly engagement. President Rosenbury expresses confidence in Walkowitz’s ability to lead and develop the faculty of teacher-scholars, citing her commitment to consensus building and her extensive experience in academic leadership. 

Walkowitz’s academic journey, which includes degrees from Harvard University and the University of Sussex, underscores her lifelong dedication to intellectual exploration. A former president of The Harvard Crimson with an M.Phil. in English and critical theory and an A.M. and Ph.D. in English and American literature and language, Walkowitz brings a wealth of expertise to Barnard.

Walkowitz will succeed Linda A. Bell, who will be stepping down from her role as Provost and Dean of the Faculty after serving since 2012. Bell will stay at Barnard conducting pioneering research in empirical economics following a transitional period working alongside Walkowitz. There will be a campus-wide celebration of Bell’s many years of contributions to the College later this spring.

Barnard eagerly anticipates Walkowitz’s integration into the community, welcoming her as a catalyst for innovative scholarship and intellectual growth. Her appointment represents a testament to Barnard’s commitment to excellence and its mission of nurturing bold thinkers and leaders. 

“Students come to learn with us, but we learn so much from them, and together we discover ideas that can change the world,” says Walkowitz.

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