Retiring faculty administrator leaves behind strong connections

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Dianne Martin, the vice provost for faculty affairs, will retire this August after almost 33 years at GW. Martin helped to create more than 170 full-time, tenure-track faculty positions since 2008.

Faculty said they will lose a connection to the administration after GW’s top faculty official leaves.

Dianne Martin, the vice provost for faculty affairs, who will retire in August, oversaw some of GW’s biggest projects while working closely with faculty members from across the University. Faculty said they are losing a strong voice among administrators that always prioritized their concerns.

Martin, who came to GW in 1983 as a computer science professor, was the chair of the computer science department, the director of the Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute and the associate vice president for graduate studies and academic affairs. She became the vice provost for faculty affairs in 2011.

Martin said in an email that her fondest memories will be the times she spent teaching students, and more recently, she enjoyed working with the Society of the Emeriti – a group of officials that maintains connections with former faculty members.

“I have loved my time here at GW but am looking forward to retirement, spending time with family and planning my next travel adventure,” Martin said.

Interim Provost Forrest Maltzman said Martin’s familiarity with faculty and her knowledge of schools within the University made her an asset in her role as vice provost.

“Other important qualities include an understanding of faculty affairs and the tenure and promotion process, an ability to implement and carry out initiatives, a calm demeanor and an ability to see multiple sides of a problem,” Maltzman said. “These are traits that Dianne brought to the table, and they have served us well.”

Maltzman added that the search for the new vice provost will begin immediately after Commencement, and the committee plans to chose a replacement by mid-summer so Martin can help the candidate transition into the role. Maltzman said in a University release last week he will fill the role internally.

In her time at GW, Martin helped create more than 170 new full-time faculty positions as a part of the University’s strategic plan and led a project to create a new faculty expert database.

Martin is the seventh top administrator to announce leaving the University this academic year.

Charles Garris, the chair of the Faculty Senate’s executive committee, said Martin was a key point of contact between the Faculty Senate and administrators.

“She’s been a wonderful person to work with [because of] her leadership, her attitude, her cooperation, her warm personality working with her, her intelligence,” Garris said. “She understands the University. From the point of view of the Faculty Senate, I think it’s hard to imagine a bigger loss.”

Shelly Heller, the associate provost for the Mount Vernon campus and a professor of computer science, said she first met Martin when they were both master’s students at the University of Maryland. She said Martin’s impact on faculty life at the University is impressive.

“In her latest role as the vice provost for faculty, she’s done tremendous things,” Heller said. “Her impact is really from the time a faculty member comes to GW and then throughout their whole life.”

Heller added that Martin excels as a faculty member, a well-published author, a sought-after researcher in computer science ethics and a “masterful teacher,” who even now teaches an online course in computer science.

“A faculty member is judged on three things – on research, scholarship and service,” Heller said. “And I would say that Provost Martin really excels in all three categories.”

Philip Wirtz, the chair of the Faculty Senate’s educational policy committee, said in an email that in the many projects he worked on with Martin, he always trusted her good judgement and wisdom. He added that he is sad to see her go as “she has brought real class and continuity to that position.”

“Her frontline responsibilities of dealing with the all issues involving the GW Faculty is no easy task, and she has done it with great skill, acumen and good humor,” Wirtz said. “Her quick wit has made her a particular joy to work with.”

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