Guetti discusses love for Seton Hall

Joan Guetti, former chair of the department of mathematics and computer science, was appointed to the position of interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences after it was vacated by Joseph Marbach earlier this year when he accepted a provost position as his alma mater, LaSalle University.

This appointment increased the number of interim administrators in Seton Hall’s ranks as it already had an interim president and interim provost.

A meeting has been called for Sept. 24 which will include faulty and interim Provost Larry Robinson.

According to Guetti, she is required to schedule a meeting of this nature when she has twenty signatures of faculty members who wish you discuss a particular issue.

Guetti said that it would not be “surprising” if there was interest in postponing the search for a new dean when much of Seton Hall’s upper administration consists of interim positions.

Guetti has made it clear that she does not desire a permanent dean position.

“I think a dean should have a larger research and national profile than I have,” Guetti said. “I also think I ultimately belong in the classroom.”

Guetti attended the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and went on to obtain her Ph.D. in mathematics from Rutgers University.

“I’ve always loved puzzles, and I am still addicted to crosswords and sudokus,” Guetti said. “I think I am a problem solver at heart, and mathematics challenged me.”

Although her father wanted her to pursue nursing, he eventually gave up, and Guetti “followed her heart.”

Despite her father’s alternative wishes, Guetti acknowledges him for her accomplishments.

“I owe a lot to my father’s encouragement,” Guetti said. “He never finished high school, yet he expected me to do my best academically.”

Guetti said being a teaching assistant at Rutgers University revealed her inner talent and desire to teach.

Guetti views herself as an “anomaly” at Seton Hall.

“I had one interview for a teaching job, at Seton Hall,” Guetti said. “I was hired by Dr. John J. Saccoman on the day of my interview, and I have remained here for over 27 years. Who stays at their first job these days?”

Guetti served as associate dean for academics in the College of Arts & Sciences. She then became chair of the mathematics and cscience department, a job she says she has a “profound respect for.”

“Whether it is a student who dislikes their grade, signing students into closed courses or trying to resolve faculty issues, you walk a delicate line in facilitating department business,” Guetti said.

Guetti sees her position as interim dean as something that was not on her “horizon” a few months ago, but “sometimes opportunities present themselves.”

Extending her term as interim dean would be an easy decision, according to Guetti.

“I been given a gift, the opportunity to help shape the college and contribute to implementing the strategic goals of the University,” Guetti said. “I am willing to remain the interim dean of the oldest and largest college at Seton Hall for as long as needed.”

Regardless of what happens, Guetti is adamant about remaining at the University.

“I am not interested in leaving Seton Hall,” Guetti said. “When my term as interim dean is over, I intend to return to the math and computer science department and do my best to be an effective teacher and a good citizen of the department.”

Guetti greatly admires Seton Hall, noting that she even sent her own children here.

“I embrace the mission of the University,” Guetti said. “I would not have sent my sons to Seton Hall if I did not believe in the stellar academic qualities of the faculty and the richness of our offerings.”

Jessica Sutcliffe can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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