Chawne Kimber Named Dean of the College at Washington and Lee University
Chawne Kimber, Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Mathematics, head of the Mathematics Department, and co-director of the Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education at Lafayette College, has been named dean of the College at Washington and Lee University.
Kimber’s appointment, which was announced by current Dean of the College Lena Hill, comes on the recommendation of a nine-member search committee comprising faculty and staff. Kimber will succeed Hill, who has served as dean since July 2018, when Hill begins her new role as W&L’s provost on July 1.
“We are fortunate that Chawne will be joining the W&L community to lead the College,” Hill said. “Her career reflects her dedication to students, innovative support for faculty and investment in shared governance. Her successful advocacy for community-based learning, leadership in inclusive STEM pedagogy, and experience in hiring and retaining diverse faculty position her to advance strategic goals. Like many who shared their feedback throughout the interview process, I am impressed by Chawne’s interdisciplinary accomplishments, personal warmth and thoughtful approach to leadership.”
At W&L, the dean of the College has responsibility for 21 departments and 13 interdisciplinary programs. The dean serves as chair of the Committee on Courses and Degrees and belongs to the Faculty Executive Committee. The dean reports to the provost and serves on the Provost’s Academic Council as well as the President’s Council.
Kimber has been a professor of mathematics at Lafayette since 2000, receiving tenure as an associate professor in 2006 and promotion to full professor in 2013. She has been department head since 2018, and she was named the Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of Mathematics in 2020. Kimber has led a number of the college’s initiatives to advance STEM education, including as founding director of its Summer Program to Advance Leadership in STEM (2009-present), director of its Center for the Integration of Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (2015-18) and founding co-director of its Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education (2020-present). She has served on a variety of committees at Lafayette, including the Presidential Search Committee, the Academic Research Committee, the Teaching and Learning Committee, the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee, and the Promotion, Tenure and Review Committee.
She holds a B.S. from the University of Florida, an M.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Prior to joining the faculty at Lafayette, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Wesleyan University.
Kimber’s scholarship focuses on ordered algebraic structures, commutative algebra, general topology, category theory and textile art. She is the co-author of numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals including Algebra Universalis, Order, Fundamenta Mathematicae, and the Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra, and she has served as organizer and presenter at a variety of national conferences, seminars and colloquia.
Active in the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), she is currently an editor of AMS’s Living Proof blog. She was associate editor of MAA’s American Mathematical Monthly from 2016-2020 and has served on committees for the three organizations.
Kimber has also been the principal investigator on subgrants from the Corporation for National Service and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to study and pilot programs in experiential education, inclusive pedagogy and student-faculty partnerships, and a consortial grant from the Teagle Foundation to experiment with blended learning in a liberal arts setting, among other topics.
An accomplished visual artist, Kimber has been a visiting artist-in-residence at Appalachian State University. She has exhibited and presented her work in galleries and museums across the country and has been featured in doctoral dissertations and other publications, including The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Quilting Arts Magazine.
“The university faces many momentous decisions in the near term, and I look forward to facing these challenges,” Kimber said. “It will be an honor to collaborate with the impressive faculty and staff at Washington and Lee University on recruitment and retention of faculty and students from diverse backgrounds, inclusive practices for teaching and learning, and shaping the liberal arts curriculum for the future.”
“We are delighted to welcome Chawne to W&L this summer,” said W&L President William C. Dudley. “Her work at Lafayette College has demonstrated her deep commitment to teaching and learning in a liberal arts setting. Her active scholarship and administrative experience as the head of a large academic department and director of initiatives to advance STEM education will prepare her well to lead the College. I look forward to working with her as we continue to execute the initiatives outlined in our ambitious strategic plan.”