Treating Everyone as Valuable and Unique
Jo Ann Cavallo
"Jim Valentini, affectionately referred to as Deantini by undergraduates, has been a model and an inspiration on so many levels that I don’t know where to begin.
"I’m simply one of the countless people who has benefited from knowing and interacting with him throughout his many years at Columbia. Despite Jim’s innumerable interactions on a daily basis as dean of the College, I have always seen him treat everyone as a valuable and unique individual worthy of his time and attention. Students are not numbers or statistics, but real flesh and blood people who have a life to live to the fullest, and who can have an impact on the world for the better during their years at Columbia and beyond. That level of caring comes through in everything he does, both in the open and behind the scenes.
"I’ve watched as a faculty member, as a mother of two undergraduates and as a department chair how Jim has tirelessly put into place his vision for the College. He has always gone the extra mile to support students, faculty and the institution as a whole. He has met all the many challenges of his position and in his life with integrity, fortitude, wisdom and conviction.
"I’m therefore saddened that the College will lose such an intrepid leader. But I also hope and anticipate that the coming years will be less stressful for him, and I wish him health as well as the peace of mind that comes from always giving it your best."
Jo Ann Cavallo
Professor of Italian, and Chair, Department of Italian