On Thursday, President of the College Adam Falk announced in a campus-wide email that David Love, professor of economics, will succeed Will Dudley ’89 as provost of the College. In January, Dudley will assume the presidency of Washington and Lee University.
The provost is responsible for allocating financial resources among departments and using funds to ad-vance educational interests. “While allocating scarce resources lies at the heart of economics, there’s nothing magical about being an economist that makes it easy to find practical ways to improve the allocation of resources at a place like Williams, which is already doing so many things right,” Love said. “What I hope to bring to the position is a passion for communicating the tradeoffs that we do have to make as clearly as possible so that we can, across all areas of the institution, have the kinds of conversations about priorities and resources that allow us to adapt and grow as successfully as we have in the past.”
Love’s term will begin on Sept. 1 and Dudley, who has served as provost since 2011, will spend his last semester at the College on sabbatical.
Love came to the College as an assistant professor in 2003 after completing his doctorate in economics at Yale. In his 13 years at the College, Love has served as chair of the Faculty Compensation Committee in 2014-15 and as a member of the Faculty Steering Committee, Committee on Priorities and Resources, Benefits Committee, Williams Exeter Program at Oxford Selection Committee, Faculty Interview Panel, Faculty Review Panel, Sustainability Plan Development Group, the Mead Committee and the Committee on Student Course Evaluations and Pedagogy.
He has also mentored junior faulty, served as a faculty affiliate to the women’s crew team and worked on the hiring and curricular committees within the economists department.
As an economist, Love’s research has focused on public finance, household savings and pension finance. He has published work in the Economic Journal, Journal of Monetary Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of Public Economics. He is currently an editor at the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance.
Love also worked as a visiting assistant professor at Columbia Business School in 2008 and 2012 and as an economist at the Federal Reserve Board from 2005-06.
The new role will take Love out of the classroom. “I love being in the classroom, and I have always felt that being a professor here has to be one of the best jobs in the world,” Love said. “It’s frankly hard for me to imagine what it will be like being here in the fall semester without teaching macroeconomics to another exceptional group of students.” He intends to maintain a close advising relationship with his former students, and wants to make sure that they know “just because I’ll be provost doesn’t mean that I will disappear into Hopkins Hall.”
“Students are at the heart of this institution, and I plan on staying connected with them as much as possible even when I’m no longer in the classroom,” Love said.
Falk, with approval from the Board of Trustees, restructured the senior administration at the College in 2010. He added the position of vice president for finance and administration and changed Steve Klass’s position from vice president for operations to vice president for student life.
The vice president for finance and administration, currently filled by Fred Puddester, is responsible for, “financial reporting, planning, and forecasting, debt financing, tax compliance and working with the pro-vost and dean of the faculty in developing annual budgets,” according to the original announcement of Puddester’s appointment.
Overall, Love is excited for the opportunity to join the adminisration. “My favorite thing about Williams is the people – the students, of course, but also my colleagues on the faculty and the dedicated and talented members of the staff,” said Love. “The prospect of working with such an exceptional group [of senior administrators] was one of the many reasons that I was thrilled with the appointment.”