By: Jonathan Levin  | 

Karen Bacon, Dean of Stern and Yeshiva College, to be Promoted to Provost’s Office

Karen Bacon, dean of the undergraduate faculty of arts and sciences at Yeshiva University, will be promoted to associate vice president for academic affairs at Yeshiva University following a “national search” for her replacement, YU announced last week. Bacon has maintained a position as dean for nearly 50 years.

First announced in a faculty-wide email by Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Selma Botman on Sept. 13, Bacon’s new role, which she will fill upon completion of the national search, will involve joining the office of the provost to strengthen academic affairs and student life while working with Botman, undergraduate and graduate deans and YU’s board of directors.

Botman and YU spokesperson Hanan Eisenman declined to comment or issue any specifics on details of the search, including the search committee, scope, timetables or what qualifications YU is seeking.

Bacon (SCW ‘64) was first hired by YU as a professor at Yeshiva College’s (YC) biology department in 1975, before being promoted to Dean of Stern College for Women (SCW) in 1977, a position she held for nearly 40 years. In 2015, she was named Mordecai D. Katz and Dr. Monique C. Katz Dean of the Undergraduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yeshiva University, where she began to oversee Yeshiva College as well.

“Over the years, Dean Bacon has built an extraordinary liberal arts and sciences college at Stern, and more recently lent her considerable skills to Yeshiva College,” stated Botman’s email announcing Bacon’s promotion, which Botman shared with The Commentator. “I am so grateful that Dean Bacon will be joining the Provost’s Office, applying her experience and passion broadly throughout the University.

“On a personal note, I have long relied on Dean Bacon’s judgment and advice in my role as Provost. To have her at my side in the Office of Academic Affairs and to benefit from her sage counsel and her leadership of new initiatives will be an honor.”

Bacon told The Commentator that President Ari Berman and Botman were in conversation with her about the promotion for “some time,” with the timing of the announcement, following her acceptance of the position, made by the president’s office.

“This promotion is a singular honor for which I thank President Berman and Provost Botman,” Bacon told The Commentator. “But in addition to the honor, I am gratified by their endorsement of the work I have done in the past. And while I look forward to assisting Provost Botman on University wide initiatives, I will sorely miss my daily involvement with colleagues, both faculty and staff, and with the students of SCW and YC whom I treasure.”

In a Sept. 14 announcement on YUNews, Yeshiva University’s blog, regarding Bacon’s promotion, Berman thanked Bacon for her nearly 50 years of service to YU, adding that Dean Bacon’s “achievement[s]” will be “celebrated” at YU’s 99th Hanukkah dinner, YU’s largest annual fundraiser, this December.

Eisenman declined to comment on how Bacon’s work will be recognized. The dinner, set to be hosted at The Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of SCW.

Bacon was honored at YU’s 79th Hanukkah dinner, held in 2003, where she received YU’s first presidential medallion.

No previous associate vice president for academic affairs is listed on YU’s website. Eisenman declined to comment on whether the position was filled in the past.


Photo Caption: Karen Bacon will be promoted to associate vice president for academic affairs upon the conclusion of a national search for her replacement.

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University