Former chair of Communication Department appointed Dean of CAS

Submitted by Gisela Gil-Egui on March 1, 2008

Spring 2008
Former chair of Communication Department appointed Dean of CAS

Dr. Robbin Crabtree, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Robbin Crabtree

After six years leading the Department of Communication through important transformations, Professor Robbin Crabtree has been appointed as the new Dean for Fairfield University’s College of Arts & Sciences. By the time of her appointment, Dr. Crabtree was in charge of the recently created Office of Service Learning, and while taking the helm of that unit she also ensured a smooth transition into the Communication Department’s chair to newly arrived Associate Professor James Shanahan.

Professor Crabtree came to Fairfield in 2001 from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she was an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies. She was chair of the Department of Communication at Fairfield from 2001 until August of 2007. During that period, the size of the faculty grew from five to nine full-time members to meet immense student demand for the major, the curriculum and advising procedures were streamlined, department participation in interdisciplinary programs increased substantially, and a new graduate cohort-based program was developed. She also added new courses to the curriculum, redesigned the department internship program to be more academically rigorous, mentored and reviewed the performance of faculty, managed the department’s budget, identified new revenue streams, and participated in the development of tools for student learning assessment.

Such a busy tenure as department chair did not prevent her from also engaging in numerous service-related activities within the university’s community, the professional field of communication, and external NGOs, as well as maintaining an excellent performance in the classroom. The latter was recently recognized, when she was awarded the distinction of “Teacher of the Year” by Fairfield’s Chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit honor society.

While the Communication Department will certainly miss interacting with Professor Crabtree on a daily basis, faculty members in this unit know they will still count on her energy, can-do disposition, sense of humor, and reliable support from her new role as leader of the larger community of the College of Arts & Sciences. Our warmest congratulations and best wishes to Professor Crabtree.

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