Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is the trinity of senior leadership that holds a major decision-making authority for the Arts and Sciences and its constituent schools. It is composed of the Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences, the Dean of Columbia College and the Dean of the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences.  

David Madigan is the Executive Vice President and Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is a professor of statistics at Columbia University, and served as the department chair since 2007. Before coming to Columbia in 2007, he was the dean of physical and mathematical sciences at Rutgers University. EVP Madigan serves on the executive committee of the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, which was created last year in partnership with New York City. He also chairs the Provost’s Faculty Committee on Online Learning and the Shared Research Computing Policy Advisory Committee and has helped lead Columbia’s effort to offer online versions of the M.A. in statistics and the M.S. in actuarial science.

EVP Madigan received his B.A. in mathematical sciences and a Ph.D. in statistics, both from Trinity College in Dublin. He previously worked in the private sector for several companies in statistical roles before moving into academia, first at the University of Washington, then Rutgers University. He’s authored over 140 publications in such areas as Bayesian statistics, text mining, Monte Carlo methods, pharmacovigilance and probabilistic graphical models. He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

EVP Madigan’s current research focuses primarily on the development of statistical methodology for large-scale applications, with a particular emphasis on drug safety. He has helped develop a newer statistical method that improves a drug safety reporting system that is patently inadequate currently employed by major governmental agencies (and similar agencies worldwide).

 

James J. Valentini was appointed Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education in September 2011. Dean Valentini has been a member of Columbia’s faculty since 1990 and previously served as chair of the Chemistry Department and director of the Chemistry Department’s Undergraduate Studies Program. He was also instrumental in creating the Science Research Fellows program. Before becoming Dean, Professor Valentini served on numerous College and University committees focused on curriculum matters, undergraduate affairs, alumni relations, and faculty governance, diversity and tenure.

Dean Valentini earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, his M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral work at Harvard University. He was a member of the research staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, before coming to Columbia.

As the chief academic and executive officer of Columbia College, Dean Valentini’s central focus is to support and develop the College so that students and faculty have the best possible experience. The Dean overseas the College curriculum, which includes the Core Curriculum, as well as the academic and administrative services and policies that contribute to the undergraduate experience inside and outside of the classroom.

 

Carlos J. Alonso is the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor in the Humanities in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures. Prior to serving as dean he was chair of the department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures from 2005-10, and was Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society for four years. He arrived at Columbia in the fall of 2005 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Edwin B. and Leonore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages.

Dean Alonso received his B.A. from Cornell in Spanish and Latin American Literature and went on to Yale to complete his M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American literature He is the author of Modernity and Autochthony: The Spanish American Regional Novel, and The Burden of Modernity: The Rhetoric of Cultural Discourse in Spanish America, and editor of Julio Cortázar: New Readings. He was also the editor of PMLA—arguably the premier journal of literary criticism and theory—during 2000-03, and edited the Hispanic Review in 2003-06, a period that ushered in changes that led to an award in 2005 for best journal design by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. While at Penn, Dean Alonso was the recipient of a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the university's highest award for pedagogical excellence.

Dean Alonso specializes in 19th and 20th-century Latin American intellectual history and cultural production, and in contemporary literary and cultural theory. He has taught recently the required graduate seminar on Literary and Cultural Theory and the course Theories of Culture in Latin America. Under his editorship the department's Revista Hispánica Moderna received the 2009 Council of Editors of Learned Journals Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement.