A Q&A with Dean F. Jon Kull

On August 24, 2012 by Grad Forum

Zach Williams with F. Jon Kull

This week, Michael Mastanduno, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth, announced that Professor of Chemistry F. Jon Kull ’88 has been chosen as the new of dean of Graduate Studies.

I sat down with Dean Kull in his new office this week, to talk about his new position and the graduate programs at Dartmouth:

The Grad Forum (TGF): You run a lab here on campus, in the Chemistry Department, that has exposed you to some graduate students already. What’s the role of graduate students across the Arts and Sciences?

Dean Kull (DK): First and foremost, our students are here getting a great education. But graduate students are also critical to every professor they work with – they help drive faculty research and they keep us moving forward while we manage our other responsibilities. And graduate students across the disciplines help to mentor our undergraduate students. They TA for a wide variety of undergraduate courses and they run review sessions for our students. For undergraduates who might be thinking about an advanced degree, graduate students offer a valuable perspective, which is something that we can build on going forward.

TGF: Graduate students across this campus are getting more and more involved, and are trying to help people understand the importance of the work we do. What are your thoughts on the state of Graduate Studies at Dartmouth?

DK: As Dartmouth grows, the existing graduate programs will grow along with it, and the visibility of our programs will increase too.  Of course, if our faculty are interested in establishing new programs, we can consider those too. But we’ll keep the intimate nature of graduate studies here at Dartmouth – we’re going to find the perfect medium. Having strong graduate programs benefits the entire Dartmouth community – undergrads and graduate students alike. Strengthening our graduate programs is in everyone’s best interest.

I want to make sure graduate students are getting the support they need. I want to continue Dean Pogue’s initiatives, and I want to increase interactivity between our different graduate programs, because they have so much to gain from working with each other. 

TGF: What would you say to undergraduate students out there who are thinking about applying to one of our graduate programs?

DK: Well, the fact that you’ve got world-class research going on inside this fairly small footprint – it’s rare and it’s impressive. There’s a closeness here, both inside individual programs and between programs, and that doesn’t happen everywhere. We have outstanding faculty at Dartmouth and they’re providing our graduate students with great opportunities.

TGF: I know a lot of students are excited to have you as our Dean. Anything you’d like to say to our readers?

DK: I’m really looking forward to getting to know the Dartmouth graduate community better. I’m excited to talk and listen and see what ideas come up. I think it’s a great time to be a graduate student at Dartmouth.

We do too. The Graduate Forum extends a warm welcome to Dean Kull. We’re looking forward to his leadership over the next few years! For more information about our new dean, check out Dartmouth Now’s biography that accompanied the official announcement.

by Zach Williams
photo by Kerry Landers

 

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