Raj Mundra, the current Assistant Dean of Students and Residential Life, will become the Dean of Studies beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. He will replace current the Dean of Studies, Clyfe Beckwith, who will begin next school year as the Assistant Head of Teaching and Learning within the Dean of Studies office.
According to Mundra, as Dean of Studies, he will pay close attention to the effectiveness of next year’s new class schedule and start conversations about the current grading system at Andover. He also plans to prioritize an increase in communication between students and faculty, in addition to improving the learning conditions at Andover.
“We need to come together, and faculty need to listen to students. Students need to listen to faculty, to just get a better understanding not only of our curriculum, but the environment that we can create to get students the most engaged that they can. Sometimes, the environment that students have now is not the most conducive to learning as best they can. Sometimes, I see that in the Dean of Students Office the repercussions of that,” said Mundra.
As Assistant Dean of Students and Residential Life, Mundra works with student leaders, developmental programming for faculty, and housing. Beckwith believes that the Dean of Studies must ensure that all the details in the Course of Study are in place, especially regarding approving courses, taking courses off the books, and scheduling. The transition will be made easier by a common factor of the importance of student health and happiness, according to Mundra.
“[The Dean of Students Office and the Dean of Studies Office] both overlap when we think about student well-being. When we’re looking at either big curricular issues, like homework and grading, like graduation requirements, those impact student well-being… There’s a lot of overlap in that way, in we’re taking care of students,” said Mundra.
Beckwith also believes that Mundra’s experience working with students will assist him as he takes on the role of the Dean of Studies.
“[Mundra received] very much perspective from the students [from the Dean of Students Office], as well as having organized conferences, as well as a general sense of what education can, and should be, so that students enjoy it and learn,” said Beckwith.
According to Mundra, he has mixed emotions of both nostalgia and excitement about leaving his current position as Assistant Dean of Students.
Mundra said, “I really love the position that I have right now and there was a sadness because I feel very close with the Deans and with [Jennifer Elliott ’94, Assistant Head of School for Residential Life and Dean of Students], and the important work that we do every day, and how much trust that we have… I also feel like I am walking into a team in the Dean of Studies office that is remarkable and a chance to work with all of the department chairs. It is a similar type of caring and compassion for our community. I’m really eager to jump into that.”