UTM’s VP academic and dean has decided not to renew her position when her term ends this year. Amy Mullin, who will end her term on December 31, is heading back to the classroom.

Mullin was asked to take her current position in July 2010 by former VP Gage Averill, who was taking a sabbatical. She thought she was only going to be acting dean, but was given a full appointment in spring 2011.

After five and a half years in the position, Mullin will have a year off before returning to UTM in January 2017 as a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy. Mullin, who hasn’t taught full-time since 2002, is “really looking forward to returning to teaching”.

Mullin spent her entire career at UTM, starting in 1990. In 2003, she was chair of the philosophy department. Her focuses are feminist philosophy and philosophy of art. She has also researched “questions about responsibility of people who provide and receive care”. She is hoping to develop a new course about issues in families and ethics, and would also like to “rework some of the introductory courses”.

Mullin served in her role longer than most candidates, as one term is five years. During her time as VP academic and dean, Mullin said she has learned a lot more about “how the other departments work, their teaching needs, and their areas of research expertise”.

Mullin has seen a lot of growth at UTM. There are 173 new faculty members; in addition, she’s overseen hiring and resignation, with over 30 searches for new faculty each year. Mullin has also been involved on the committees leading the creation of new buildings including Deerfield, IB, and the Innovation Complex.

Mullin also helped enhance visibility for experimental learning. This is “learning by doing carefully chosen experiences and reflecting on that then receiving feedback on that”, according to Mullin.

As VP academic and dean, she helped develop new internships, new service learning courses, new field learning courses, and field trips. Starting this year, there is a new course designation EXP, which designates courses that have significant components of experiential learning.

Mullin hopes that the next dean will be able to communicate more about what’s distinctive about UTM to the larger community and the broad range of the programs and the skills developed in each program.

Mullin does not have any input on the new person to fill her position. An advisory committee will select her successor. The committee cannot comment publicly while the search is in progress, and the process does not have a firm end date.