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Baishakhi Taylor, formerly associate dean at Duke's Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, is the new dean of students at Middlebury.

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Baishakhi Taylor Joins Middlebury as New Dean of Students

October 29, 2015


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Fostering inclusivity, resilience, and engagement among students — those are among the goals Dean of Students Baishakhi Taylor brings to her new position. Taylor joined the Middlebury administration in August. As dean of students, she will oversee residential life, judicial affairs, health and wellness education, student activities, orientation, and parts of the Commons system.

Prior to coming to Middlebury, Taylor served as associate dean for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University, where she oversaw the academic life of roughly 800 students. At Duke, she also spearheaded the creation of Duke’s strategic partnership in India.

“Baishakhi brings incredible warmth, energy, and enthusiasm to her work as the Dean of Students. She was ‘all in’ from day one — learning as much as she could, as fast as she could,” said Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of the College Katy Smith Abbott, to whom Taylor reports.

Taylor said she was drawn to Middlebury’s dedication to the liberal arts model, and to what she sees as a particularly deep commitment to students. She was also attracted to the invigorating challenge of joining the College administration at a point when Middlebury is pursuing a process of self-reflection with the ascent of a new president. “What better time to join the Middlebury community than when it is becoming newly complex, to quote [Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton],” said Taylor. Patton served as Taylor’s mentor and supervisor at Duke.

Among Taylor’s priorities is fostering a seamless connection between academic and student life. “I am a huge believer that what you learn inside the classroom needs to be complemented with what’s happening outside of the classroom, and it’s on us to provide the space,” she said.

“Coming from Duke, Baishakhi offers a distinct perspective on the undergraduate experience,” said Smith Abbott. “Her questions and insights are leading us to some important discussions about the best ways for us to support students and to cultivate a true sense of community at Middlebury.”

A native of Kolkata, India, Taylor holds a master’s degree in women’s studies from the University of Northern Iowa and a PhD in sociology from the University of Kentucky. She hopes to teach in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Middlebury College starting next fall.

With reporting by Kathryn Flagg, Photos by Todd Balfour

2 Comments

I had the pleasure of meeting Baishakhi Taylor during last year's MiddCORE January term class. I was impressed with her energy and comfortable manner within the Midd family. Welcome Baishakhi, I am smiling that you are interfacing with our students. Roy Heffernan '78

by Roy Heffernan (not verified)

HI Baishakhi , Congratulations on your new position at Middlebury. Lynne Ann Fowler Latter & Blum, Inc., Realtors New Orleans, LA

by Lynne Ann Fowler (not verified)

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