Dean of the Faculty

Staff and Office Information

The Dean's office is open weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (8:00-4:00 during the summer).

Converse Hall, Rm 103A
Corner of Route 9 and Route 116

Mailing Address:
Dean of the Faculty
Amherst College
P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2334
Fax: (413) 542-2621

Dean of the Faculty

Catherine Epstein, Dean of the FacultyCatherine Epstein
Dean of the Faculty
Professor of History
Phone: (413) 542-2334
Office: Converse 103A

The dean of the faculty is the chief academic officer of the college and has primary responsibility for matters of academic policy and for the academic budget. The dean serves as secretary to the Committee of Six, the executive committee of the faculty, and as secretary to the faculty. She oversees the Robert Frost Library, the Mead Art Museum, the Beneski Museum of Natural History, the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Office of the Registrar, the Center for Community Engagement, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Amherst Center for Russian Culture, the college’s international programs (including study abroad), and the Office of Fellowships. The dean of the faculty has joint responsibility for the Department of Physical Education and Athletics. She serves as the college’s Five College Deputy. Please contact Dean Epstein with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Dean’s Staff

Jack CheneyJohn (Jack) T. Cheney
Associate Dean of the Faculty
Samuel A. Hitchcock Professor of Mineralogy and Geology
Phone: (413) 542-2311
Office: Converse 102C

Please contact Jack Cheney with inquiries about faculty personnel procedures, the Faculty Research Award Program (FRAP), the science center project, compliance matters, the Moss Quantitative Center, sponsored  research in the sciences, compliance committees (IACUC, IRB, IBC), equipping classrooms, faculty offices, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program, and with general questions. Please also contact Dean Cheney with questions about academic department budgets. He serves as the office’s liaison to the Departments of Information Technology, Facilitiesthe Faculty Computer Committee, and the Science Faculty Steering Committee.

Austin SaratAustin D. Sarat
Associate Dean of the Faculty
William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science
Phone: (413) 542-5368
Office: Converse 102D

Please contact Austin Sarat with inquiries about faculty development programs (orientation for new faculty, mentoring programs, the Teaching and Advising Program [TAP]), the Mellon Faculty Seminars, the Global Classroom Project, Schupf Scholars Program, sponsored research in the humanities and social sciences, the Copeland Colloquium, the Coalition for Faculty Diversity, and the Gregory S. Call Undergraduate Research and Academic Internship Program. Dean Sarat serves as the office’s liaison to the Office of Student Affairs, the Writing Center, the Fellowships Office, the Study Abroad Office, and the First-Year Seminar Committee. Please contact Dean Sarat with modest requests for funding for research and travel and for support for field trips. 

Janet TobinJanet S. Tobin
Associate Dean for Academic Administration
Phone: (413) 542-8483
Office: Converse 102A

Please contact Janet Tobin with inquiries about the Committee of Six, academic policies, faculty hiring procedures (including advertising), funding through the dean’s office, faculty personnel procedures, external reviews of departments and programs, dean’s office communications (including the website), the  Copeland Colloquium, faculty meetings, the Teaching and Advising Program (TAP), new faculty orientation, the  Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC), Doshisha faculty and student exchanges, NEASC(reaccreditation) STINT Program (visiting faculty from Sweden), the faculty/student Thanksgiving-hosting program, and with general questions.  Dean Tobin serves as the office’s liaison to the Office of Communications, the trustee office, and the Manager’s Council. She is also the secretary-treasurer of Amherst’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Nancy RatnerNancy K. Ratner
Researcher for Academic Projects (Associate Dean in the Office of Admission)
Phone: (413) 542-5138
Office: Converse 102BB

Please contact Nancy Ratner with questions about the Committee on Educational Policy (including proposals for new courses), the Gregory S. Call Student Research Program, Alpha Delta Phi funding, the Schupf Scholars Program, the Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship, faculty meeting minutes, and NEASC (reaccreditation).

Marie FowlerMarie C. Fowler
Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty/Office Manager  
Phone: (413) 542-2334
Office Converse 102B

Please contact Marie to schedule an appointment with the dean, with general questions, and with inquiries about events and programming organized by the dean’s office.  


Deb BishopDeb Bishop
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (413) 542-2014
Office: Converse 103A

Please contact Deb to schedule an appointment with the dean or with questions about the Gregory S. Call Student Research Program, Alpha Delta Phi funding, the Schupf Scholars Program, the Faculty Research Award Program (FRAP), the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program, and the Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Deborah BordelonDeborah Bordelon
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (413) 542-7903
Office: Converse 102E

Please contact Deborah with questions about reimbursements for expenses funded through the Office of the Dean of the Faculty (with the exception of the annual research/travel allocation and individual start-up funds), the Five-College Faculty Exchange “Borrow” Program, submission of requests for leaves, proposals made for funding through the Gregory S. Call Academic Intern Program and internal fellowship (Senior Sabbatical Fellowships and Tenure-Track Sabbatical Fellowships) and funding programs, and honoraria/stipends for external reviewers, the Project in Innovative Curriculum and Teaching (PICT) and the First-Year-Seminar Workshop.

Photo of Andy McAlpineAndy McAlpine
Academic Administration/Policy Specialist
Phone: (413) 542-8276
Office: Converse 102BB

Please contact Andy with inquiries about faculty personnel policies, procedures, and records; the faculty handbook; and administration of the Committee of Six.