Emory Report
November 15, 2004
Volume 57, Number 12


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November 15, 2004
Liebeskind to step down from research post

BY Michael Terrazas

Lanny Liebeskind, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Organic Chemistry, announced last week that he will step down after five years as Emory College senior associate dean for research in order to return full time to his teaching and scholarship, effective Aug. 31, 2005.

“By next summer I will have been in administration for nine years, four as chair of chemistry and another five in my current position,” Liebeskind said. “I never saw myself as a full-time administrator. I’m at an age where if I continue in administration, my research will fade away. So I thought it was an appropriate time to make a break, of sorts. I’ll stay active in serving the institution, just not as a full-time administrator.”

Announcing the decision in an e-mail to college faculty, Dean Bobby Paul praised Liebeskind’s five years as senior associate dean, saying his service raised the quality, quantity and impact of research and research support. Paul also called for nominations for Liebeskind’s successor.

“The position requires a knowledge of the world of grants and grant writing, as well as an ability effectively to encourage and support the faculty in their efforts to accomplish their research goals with external funding,” Paul said. “The senior associate dean must therefore be both a strong administrator and a faculty advocate, and should be conversant with current practices and guidelines in the federal and other grant-making bureaucracies, as well as being an accomplished research scientist in the broadest sense.”

Liebeskind, who specializes in organometallic and synthetic organic chemistry, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1976. He is editor of Advances in Metalo-Organic Chemistry and associate editor of Organometallics.

Asked what words of advice he would have for his successor, Liebeskind quipped, “Get lots of sleep and exercise.”

“It’s very important to ground yourself in the faculty presence,” he said, turning serious. “You have to step back and see why we have an administrative structure in the first place. You have to test your decisions against larger philosophical questions like that. It’s a balance between having the appropriate amount of bureaucracy and having no oversight at all.”

Paul said candidates for Liebeskind’s successor may come from the college, other schools and units at Emory, or from another institution.