Note from President Williams

April 25, 2011

Dear Brite Students,

This morning Dean Nancy Ramsay announced to the faculty that she has decided to return to fulltime teaching following her 2012-2013 research leave. According to our Brite Governance Handbook, Dean Ramsay is eligible to take a full year’s research leave beginning June 1 of this year. However, she has graciously accepted my request that she serve one additional year as dean before taking her research leave in order to complete tasks related to completion of the Harrison Building and to provide Brite sufficient time for a smooth transition in the dean’s office.

Dr. Ramsay has served two three-year terms as dean. Under her leadership Brite has successfully completed two accreditation reviews and called ten gifted teacher-scholars to the Brite faculty. She has also established vital relationships with TCU deans and the churches. In the next twelve months, as she completes her service as dean, she hopes to build on those relationships to advance Brite programming initiatives that she has nurtured, such as those with the Neeley School of Business and the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She also hopes to help the faculty continue to explore new program possibilities that will position Brite to better serve its mission.

Dr. Ramsay and I have been in conversation over the past year regarding the possibility of her serving a third term as dean following her research leave in 2012-2013. In her announcement to the faculty this morning Dean Ramsay said:

Our conversations as a faculty about the importance of the PhD programs and especially your concern that the school support the Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care program have made a real impact on me.

My ambivalence about a third term when Newell and I have talked lies in my deep pleasure in teaching and research and writing. Newell and I discussed the fact that one can return to the field productively after two terms, but a third term is really taking a different vocational direction.

Last week I indicated to Newell that I realized the balance had tipped, and I wanted to return to teaching. I believe I can be of use to Brite in that role and contribute as well to the strategic steps we need to take as an institution programmatically to sustain growth.

As many of your know, Dr. Ramsay is a widely recognized scholar in the field of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care. Her return to fulltime teaching will, indeed, strengthen Brite’s program and reputation for academic excellence. As she told the faculty this morning, her comments were not to be interpreted as her retirement speech!

There will be opportunities in the next year to formally thank Dr. Ramsay for her service as dean. Meanwhile, we are fortunate to have her leadership in the dean’s office for another year as we complete the Harrison Building and begin to use those wonderful new facilities and as the faculty continues to reflect upon how Brite might more effectively serve its distinctive educational mission.


D. Newell Williams
President and Professor of Modern and American Church History
Brite Divinity School