Dean of Faculty of Arts and Science to Step Down



FAS Dean Thomas Carew announced that he will step down from his position as dean to resume teaching and research as a professor of neural science.

Louise Choi, Staff Writer

NYU Faculty of Arts and Science Dean Thomas Carew announced on April 6 that he will step down from his position to resume teaching and research as a Professor of Neural Science. FAS is comprised of all CAS faculty. Carew served as dean for seven years before deciding to step down.

“There is a natural rhythm to academic leadership positions and serving as dean of an amazing school like the FAS for eight years seems just about right,” Carew told WSN over email. “It allows enough time to accomplish some important goals, while leaving room for the next generation of leadership to bring fresh ideas to the table.”

His departure prompted a community wide email from President Andrew Hamilton on the same day.

“Tom’s leadership at NYU has extended far beyond Arts and Science, not simply as a result of his position as Dean of the FAS, but by dint of his personal warmth, his wisdom, his humor and his experience and intellect,” Hamilton wrote in the email. “[Carew] led the Deans Council for a number of years, and his voice still carries great weight with his peers.”

During his time as Dean of FAS, Carew introduced several important projects that have helped bolster the NYU community at large.

Carew first launched the FAS Diversity Initiative, a platform for fostering greater diversity and inclusion within the Arts and Science community at NYU in in 2013. The platform has attempted to add diversity to consideration in the faculty hiring process. Since its inception the FAS Diversity Initiative currently holds over 100 faculty participants.

Other programs that Carew helped establish include the Research Investment Fund which financially supports various scholarly proposals to discover innovative research paths in collaboration with several academic units; the FAS Office of Educational Technology, which works with faculty from all divisions of the Arts and Science to increase educational technology. He also supported the development of the Center for Data Science at NYU, which has recruited several impressive faculty members and blossomed into a leading Master’s program with his help.

Carew has also published several notable papers in his field each year, while working at the Center for Neural Science and currently teaches an advanced undergraduate class.

“In addition to my advanced undergraduate class, which I have taught every year since arriving at NYU, I would like to also return to teaching a large undergraduate course for majors and non-majors alike, that I developed at Yale [University] many years ago,” Carew said. “It’s called Behavioral Neurobiology, which explores the cellular organization of natural behavior. It introduces the amazing ability of animals, from bats and barn owls to honey bees and fruit flies, to successfully negotiate their unique worlds and describes the remarkable brain mechanisms these animals have evolved to enable them to do so.”

Carew has agreed to stay on as dean until his successor is found, which he said will likely be by the summer of 2019. By resigning, Carew hopes to be able to focus more on his teaching and research.

“My research centers on the molecular mechanisms of memory,” Carew said. “In our lab we work at behavioral, cellular and molecular levels to explore the mechanisms that are engaged by the brain in producing long-term memories. I currently have a terrific research team consisting of a senior postdoctoral fellow, two graduate students and three undergrads. We work really well together, and just as importantly, have a lot of fun in the process.”

Email Louise Choi at [email protected]