Dean to retire after 35 years at Geneseo

At the end of this academic year, Susan Bailey will retire from her position as dean of the college. Polly Radosh, a Geneseo graduate and former chairwoman of the department of women's studies at the University of Western Illinois, has been selected to fill the position.

Bailey's Geneseo career began in 1973 as an adjunct professor in the history department. She taught many courses, including women's studies courses and humanities, until 1986, when she was named coordinator of student employment services in the Career Services office. In 1993, she became assistant dean, then associate dean in 1996.

In 2003, she was named dean of the college, a position in which she oversaw undergraduate studies, including academic progress, advisement, summer sessions, the internship program and the college bulletin.

In her 35 years here, Bailey has seen the college through many changes. She noted that although the student body is the same size, "the student composition has changed. The selectivity in admissions has brought in a different type of student."

Bailey also named the introduction of the humanities sequence in 1980 as a major modification since she first began at the college.

One of her favorite parts of working at Geneseo has been the people, including students, faculty and staff.

"I enjoy being dean because I have good people in my office, and I still get a considerable amount of student contact," she said.

"I have had the privilege of working directly with Dean Bailey for my entire eight years here and she has served as an adviser, sounding board and supervisor, but most importantly, she has been a mentor," said Tabitha Buggie-Hunt, assistant dean of disability services. "Dean Bailey serves as a wonderful role model for the professional and academic women on campus."

According to Associate Dean of the College Kerry McKeever, "She [Bailey] is an active dean, hugely involved in the extracurricular life of the school. She treats others with respect, has a keen awareness of the sensitivities of class, race, [and] ethnicity, [is] a huge proponent of diversity, and she is careful and caring of all issues having to do with students, faculty, and staff."

"Dean Bailey is an energetic, engaged advocate for students and faculty and a wonderful mentor for women faculty and staff," added Assistant Dean Rebecca Lewis. "She will be missed terribly."

Bailey does not have plans for after her retirement but will remain in Geneseo - her daughter and son-in-law have recently moved back to the area - and is considering the possibility of teaching again.