Fordham Appoints New Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Ann Gaylin comes to Fordham from Yale and is the first dean to be appointed under President Tetlow’s tenure



Gaylin is excited to join the Fordham community and hopes to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment.


As a new school year begins, Fordham is welcoming a new dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Ann Gaylin, Ph.D., was appointed as the GSAS dean on July 5, following the passing of former dean Tyler Stovall, Ph.D., in December of last year. 

“I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students at an institution committed to learning with discernment and purpose,” Gaylin said. “With an inspiring new president, Fordham is poised to build on existing strengths and develop new areas of excellence.”

Gaylin’s appointment, the first under Tetlow’s tenure, came into effect on Aug. 1. 

A Nationwide Search

Vice Provost and Chair of the search committee Jonathan Crystal said that the search for potential candidates customarily begins early on in the fall season. However, the death of the late dean Stovall pushed the search for his replacement later in the academic year.

The search process was performed on a sweeping national scale and began with a large pool of candidates before the group was eventually whittled down to three finalists through various interview stages. 

According to Crystal, the attributes sought out in a candidate include a vision for graduate education backed up by significant experience in the field; a record of commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; and creativity in developing graduate programs that both appeal to students and prepare them for a range of careers — all qualities he believes Gaylin possesses.

“I am so excited and honored to be joining the Fordham community and to be able to integrate all I’ve learned, in the service of graduate education.” Gaylin

“(Gaylin) combined a compelling vision for graduate education with a hands-on approach toward getting things done — both a deep thinker and a pragmatic leader,” he said. “While she had lots of creative ideas, she was also eager to listen to what students, faculty, and staff had to say about Fordham’s strengths and challenges.”

As for Gaylin, she said that the proudest moment of her career so far was being offered the deanship of the GSAS. 

“I am so excited and honored to be joining the Fordham community and to be able to integrate all I’ve learned, in the service of graduate education,” she said.

From Ivy Walls to Maroon Halls

“Prolific” is the first word to come to mind when describing Gaylin’s career. Prior to coming to Fordham, she served as associate dean of the College at Brown University, associate dean of undergraduate education for academic support at Harvard University, and associate dean for graduate education at Yale University. 

After a decade as a faculty member in comparative literature, Gaylin found that her calling fell beyond a single discipline. From there, her goal of making higher education more accessible for traditionally underrepresented students has been a focal point of her career.

Gaylin’s previous positions at Brown and Harvard have involved her working closely with undergraduate students in resolving both academic and personal challenges while offering her support. At her most recent position as associate dean at Yale, Gaylin’s chief focus was on the betterment of the graduate school, including setting goals for admissions and building upon the program’s strengths.

Though Gaylin’s experience in the field of higher education is extensive, she cites “cura personalis” — or care for the whole person — as the one constant throughout her journey, both within and outside of academia. “Cura personalis” is a guiding principle of Jesuit education and a familiar phrase to many a Fordham student.

“This commitment has always guided my approach to higher education and to life in general, so I’m delighted to be working at an institution that values this principle so highly,” she said. 

Gaylin’s Goals as Dean

As dean of the GSAS, Gaylin’s duties will primarily consist of working alongside members of the faculty in determining potential areas for development in the university’s graduate program and creating offerings based on their findings. 

“Our goal is to create graduate offerings that will attract talented individuals from around the world to study and advance knowledge at Fordham, in the service of the greater good,” she said. “(We) collaborate with others on campus to support students, so that when they graduate, they use the skills and knowledge developed here to create a more humane, equitable, and just global society.”

The environment that Gaylin hopes to cultivate is a diverse and inclusive one that will attract more curious minds to pursue graduate studies at Fordham. Her hope is to generate opportunities for personal and professional development that enable students to succeed in their careers.

Another area that she intends to focus on during her tenure as dean is using Fordham’s unique location in New York City to its advantage.

“We can leverage Fordham’s place in the city, existing partnerships locally, domestically, and internationally, and engage our alumni in this important work,” she said.

To the incoming graduate class, Gaylin encourages them to make the most of their time at university to explore what they hope to accomplish following graduation. 

“Strive for excellence in all you do but know that asking for help is a sign of wisdom, not weakness,” she said. “There are many people here eager to help you in this next phase of your intellectual, personal, and professional development.”

Crystal expressed his excitement about Gaylin’s future at Fordham.

“I’m thrilled with the final result,” he said. “I have no doubt that Ann Gaylin will be an excellent leader for Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Science.”