October 19, 2022
Dear Campus Community,
Following a comprehensive national search, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Jamila Bookwala, former Dean of the Faculty and currently a Professor of Psychology at Lafayette College, will join the Gettysburg College community as our new Provost. Dr. Bookwala will serve as a member of the President’s Council and will join the College as a Professor of Psychology, a position she has held at Lafayette since 2012. She currently anticipates beginning her tenure in July 2023.
Recognized twice with the Daniel H. Weiss Award for Leadership and Vision for her collaborative work toward reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and as a member of a strategic task force during the COVID-19 pandemic at Lafayette, Dr. Bookwala is a passionate teacher-scholar, dedicated to fostering an engaging learning environment for her students and faculty colleagues.
Beyond being an accomplished teacher-scholar, Dr. Bookwala is a seasoned administrator. At Lafayette, she has served as the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of Academic Initiatives, and the Dean of Curriculum and Research. As Dean of the Faculty, she reported directly to the Provost while serving on the Provost’s Council and President’s Cabinet.
Dr. Bookwala will bring her wealth of experience to Gettysburg as our next Provost. She has been responsible for hiring and retaining a talented and diverse faculty; promoting excellence in teaching and scholarship; overseeing orientation and development programs for first-year faculty and leadership training for department heads and chairs; and faculty mentoring, development, and recognition programs. She also fostered high-impact and experiential learning opportunities—both inside and outside the classroom—and played a significant role in curricular growth, assessment, and revision.
Dr. Bookwala is committed to creating an inclusive community and here too will bring significant experience to the College. Serving as chair of Lafayette’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council, Dr. Bookwala worked with campus partners to foster and facilitate community dialogue and advance and implement strategic DEI projects. Through this role—and as part of the fourth edition of The Resource Handbook for Academic Deans—she wrote a chapter on the importance of working across different campus constituencies, offices, and groups to promote DEI goals. Extending beyond campus, she sits on the American Psychological Association’s Board of Scientific Affairs Taskforce on Inequities in Promotion and Tenure and, as a 2021-22 Fellow of the American Conference of Academic Deans, is working with a group of leaders in higher education on a project that focuses on mitigating bias in peer observations of teaching.
Dr. Bookwala has earned multiple awards for her teaching at Lafayette, including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Contributions to Campus Life, and the Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Award for Superior Teaching and Scholarly Contribution. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Gerontological Society of America, and the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD). Among her scholarly achievements are more than 60 published works, which include journal articles, book chapters, and two edited volumes. Her research program has been funded by various organizations including the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Bookwala earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in social psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, in addition to a master’s in psychology from the City University of New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Xavier’s College, University of Bombay (Mumbai), India.
I am grateful to Sarah Principato, the Thompson Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies and Professor of Environmental Studies, for serving as my co-chair on this search committee. I would also like to extend a special thanks to our executive search firm, Isaacson Miller, and the members of our search advisory committee: Rimvydas Baltaduonis, Associate Professor of Economics; William Bowman, Professor of History and Chairperson of International Affairs and International and Global Studies; Veronica Calvillo, Associate Professor of Spanish and Chairperson of Latin American Studies; Anne Douds, Associate Professor and Chairperson of Public Policy; Anne Ehrlich, Vice President of College Life and Dean of Students; Ryan Johnson, Associate Professor of Physics; Daniel Konstalid, Vice President of Finance and Administration; McKinley Melton, Kermit O. Paxton and Renee A. Paxton Endowed Teaching Chair and Associate Professor of English; Alecea Standlee, Assistant Professor of Sociology; Kristin Stuempfle, Chief of Staff and Strategic Advisor to the President; and Rodney Tosten, Vice President of Information Technology. Lastly, I would like to extend my appreciation to all of the faculty, staff, and students who provided insight and feedback throughout this successful search process.
In closing, I would also like to thank Provost Chris Zappe for his dedication and commitment to the role over the last 12 years at Gettysburg. The College owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Chris for the leadership he has demonstrated on behalf of the faculty and our community more broadly. Chris will continue in the role of Provost for the remainder of the academic year before transitioning back to a full-time faculty position in the Management Department.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Jamila Bookwala on her new position and welcoming her to the Gettysburg College community!