After six years as Dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Dr. Andrea Bartoli has stepped down.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Karen Boroff appointed Dr. Courtney Smith, Senior Associate Dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations as Acting Dean of the school effective Aug. 19, according to a school-wide email.
Bartoli worked at the University from 2013-2019. During his tenure, he strengthened the school’s connection with the United Nations Association and spearheaded the formation of various research centers according to the Seton Hall website.
Among many other accomplishments, Bartoli served as the Permanent Representative of the Community of Sant’Egidio to the United Nations and the United States since 1992. He has participated in multiple peacemaking processes including in Mozambique, Guatemala, Algeria, Kosovo, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Casamance, according to Bartoli’s Seton Hall profile.
Bartoli taught various courses at the University, including Religion and War. Recent graduate Tela Wittig completed her CORE-three requirement with Bartoli and described him as a “master professor who commonly drew a number of seemingly unrelated abstract ideas into a lesson on international relations that reached far beyond the content of our textbooks.”
Wittig said she has known Bartoli since her first week at Seton Hall. Wittig was surprised to learn of his departure, but she recognized that he took pride in the School of Diplomacy.
In her first day in class with Bartoli, she described a moment where Bartoli asked all the students to take out every electronic device and place them on the desk. She said he told them to check their device whenever they wanted.
“You can imagine our faces,” Wittig said. “He had perhaps the wisest approach to presence in the classroom.”
She said that he explained that so much occurs every minute and that it does not make sense to tuck our devices away for the class period.
“We can check them whenever we need so long as once we are done checking, we pay attention,” Wittig said.
This moment resonated with Wittig as she described Bartoli as an approachable and insightful mentor.
A published researcher in the field of international relations and a director of the school’s United Nations Intensive Summer Study Program, Smith said he will support the school’s goals on faculty and student research, scholarship fundraising, international partnerships and major events. He said he is open to exploring new proposals and ideas from students.
“I have already met with a number of our student leaders, and I will see even more at our Dean’s Welcome this Friday,” Smith said. “They have great ideas and we look forward to implementing them together.”
Smith described the school’s proximity to the United Nations headquarters as a major attraction for potential students. He stressed the importance of strengthening this relationship and providing opportunities for students to engage with U.N. officials and diplomats. He was thrilled to join the school 20 years ago as a U.N.-focused scholar and teacher and now he plans to develop a stronger connection to the U.N.
“The U.N. is a community built on consensus-building and that will be at the heart of my own leadership style,” Smith said.
Smith described the school’s 20-year history as based on a well-developed collaboration between students, faculty and administrators.
“Our culture of student leadership and engagement is in the DNA of our School and it is the root of our many accomplishments,” Smith said. “This culture will celebrate and enhance this culture moving forward.”
Thomas Schwartz can be reached at email@example.com.