CHESTERTOWN—After four years at Washington College, Dean and Provost Emily Chamlee-Wright is leaving Nov. 7 to take a position as the president and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University in Virginia, where she earned her Bachelor of Art, Master of Art, and PhD in economics.
“As much as I love my position as Provost and Dean at WC, the HIS presidency is an extraordinary opportunity, and though the fit is perfect, I could have never expected the stars to align such that I would be asked to step in at exactly the point in my career when I would have the most to contribute. So when the call came, I had to leap.”
The Institute for Humane Studies is a non-profit dedicated to advancing research and education in the classical liberal tradition. Chamlee-Wright was drawn to academic life because of the philosophy, economics, and political theory of classical thinkers like Adam Smith, David Hume, FA Hayek, and James Buchanan.
“As much as we will miss Emily, this is an extraordinary opportunity for her to allow her to share her leadership and passion for the emancipating power of education with the rest of the country, and I hope you will join me in wishing her all the very best in her new endeavor,” said President Sheila Bair in an email sent to faculty and staff Friday morning.
While the College conducts a national search for a new provost, Associate Provost Patrice DiQuinzio will serve as interim provost and Assistant Dean for Academic Initiatives Andrea Lange will serve as associate provost.
Dean DiQuinzio said that she has loved working with Chamlee-Wright. “I think she and I made a good team; our strengths complemented each other’s. She is great to work with. She’s smart, she’s efficient, she can get to the heart of something quickly,” she said. “She has a lot of talent, and I’m not surprised that she wants to move into a bigger arena.”
Chamlee-Wright has a lot that connects her to IHS, as she has been a summer seminar participant, has taught undergraduate seminars, and has mentored graduate students in the HIS network. She will be taking the place of Marty Zupan, who has served the HIS as president for 15 years.
“The IHS presidency will build on my experience as Provost at WC, as I seek to expand support to the teacher-scholars within the IHS network, and work with the IHS board to grow the organization and deepen its impact,” Chamlee-Wright said. “IHS is an organization dedicated to the life of the mind, valuing learning and growth, no matter its source. Believing that humility and mutual respect are the keys to personal success and the success of the academic enterprise, IHS welcomes opposing views and intellectual challenge. This core value of intellectual curiosity, and its necessary companions, humility and respect, speak to the core values I hold as a teacher-scholar and as an academic leader…. I can imagine no more important challenge than to lead IHS to even greater heights over its next 15-20 year arc.”