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Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Dean of Arts and Sciences Josie Brown to leave university in July

Photo by Point Park Website
Josie Brown, Dean of Arts and Sciences, to leave university in July.

Last week, the university announced that Dr. Josie Brown will be departing from her role as the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. 


Dr. Brown will be leaving her position in July. She will be the new dean of the College of Arts and Science at Hartford University in Hartford, Connecticut and Hillyer College, a two year college at Hartford University. 


“This is a great opportunity for me,” Brown said. “Even though it was a hard decision to make, I think it is the best for me professionally.” 


The Office of the Provost announced her departure in an email statement. In the email, Michael Soto said that Dr. Brown will be ”sorely missed.” 


“I believed when we hired Dr. Brown that our University community would benefit enormously from her talent and creativity, and I can say now that I was correct in that assessment,” Soto said. “We thank her for the tremendous work she has done for Point Park during her time here.” 


Dr. Brown was with Point Park for two years. Prior, Brown was at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts as an assistant professor and then full-time professor. Brown worked for seven years as an assistant dean there and then two years as an interim dean. 


President Chris Brussalis said to The Globe that he thanks Brown for her two years at the university.


“[Brown] was able to do so much… and we are so thankful,” Brussalis said. “She’s going to a larger school, and education is a very competitive market. We hate to lose her, and we wish her all the best.”


Dr. Brown said that her experience with Point Park was “wonderful” and she has thoroughly enjoyed the work she was able to do with both faculty and students. 


“There are some wonderful people here. For me, it was a stepping stone,” Brown said. “It was an opportunity for me that helped me grow professionally and it is hard to let go. Despite the fact that this is a wonderful community, I couldn’t close another door that was good for me professionally.” 


Brown was born in Jamaica, West Indies and grew up in Queens, New York. Brown attended Bates college for her undergrad, studying English and African American studies. 


She earned her doctorate degree at Stony Brook University studying English Literature and Culture, specializing in African American Literature, Caribbean Literature and Postcolonial Literature and Theory. 


Dr. Brown said the most important thing she’ll be taking away from Point Park is the importance of building relationships with both faculty and students. 


“I think oftentimes when you’re in an administrative role, you’re sitting away from the faculty and away from the students, but you have to bridge that gap and get to know the community,” Brown said. “I’ve built some great relationships here and that has made me a better administrator. I’ll definitely take that with me wherever I go.” 


Dr. Brown said that she appreciates how she was welcomed into our campus community. Her transition into her role here was positive in many ways. 


In part due to the unique, expressive and creative nature of our campus community as well as the support she received from faculty and fellow administrators. She said that she was always supported in her goals and in any task she needed to address. 


“I want to tell our students to keep trying, keep going, keep doing. When a door opens, walk through it,” Brown said. “This is the best time of your life to try and do. Even at my age and stage in life, I’m still doing that too.” 


Dr. Brown said, to her knowledge, in the interim after her departure there will be a temporary replacement while the university searches for a permanent one. Provost Michael Soto was unable to confirm this in time for publication. 


Kirstin Hanley, Associate Professor in the English department, said that she thoroughly enjoyed working with Dr. Brown and was looking forward to her teaching in the English program this coming fall prior to Brown’s decision to leave the university. 


“I wish her all the best in her new position, but I am very sad to see her go,” Hanley said.


Jessica McCort, associate professor and director of the university’s honors program said in a statement via email that she appreciates having had the opportunity to work with Dr. Brown and that she wishes her all the best in her career endeavors, as Brown was an “amazing colleague.” 


Students in the school of arts and sciences are surprised to hear of Dr. Brown’s decision to leave the university. 


Dominique DiLeonardo, a junior psychology major, said that she met Dr. Brown at the first confluence meeting this year. 


“I was shocked to read that she was leaving already,” DiLeonardo said. “It feels like we’ve been losing deans and presidents and it leaves me wondering what’s happening.” 


DiLeonardo said in her time here she has noticed a shift in the university’s goals to become more sports focused rather than on the other opportunities the university has to offer. 


DiLeonardo said she is more so concerned for the classes under her due to next year being her final year at the university. 


“Dr. Brown did great things for my program however and I am sad to see her go,” DiLeonardo said. “She eliminated some course requirements for my major so we have more freedom with our schedules.” 


Mia Sicconi, a freshman history major, said that she is concerned to see the dean of her program leaving in her first year at the university. 


“I already feel like the School of Arts and Sciences is overlooked. It kind of feels like a second thought to the university,” Sicconi said. “It’s worrying that now we’ll most likely have an interim dean and then a replacement to run our department. It’s a lot of turnover.” 


Sicconi said that she was glad to hear that Dr. Brown is taking a better opportunity for herself professionally, however, she is worried to see the direction that the school of arts and sciences is heading in now. 


“Obviously our programs are really great,” Sicconi said. “Just compared to the School of Communications and COPA we don’t have the same resources.”

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