by Pam Zubeck
UPDATE (No. 2): James Roche, a retired Naval officer who served as Secretary of the Air Force from 2001 to 2005, was the one who promoted Born to dean of faculty and he writes this to us about her departure:
Pam, thanks much for letting many of us know of Dana's retirement. She was the first woman to be the Dean. I vetted her, interviewed her, and decided that she was the best for the position at that time. I have no regrets. Dana's love of the AF and the AFA, plus her enthusiasm for fulfilling the responsibilities of the Dean's office were obvious and constant. She took on the task of being involved in the overall life of the cadets, and didn't hide in some ivory tower as had some of her predecessors. It's saddening to read the complaints of people who were not happy with her tenure. I kept track of her after I stepped down from being the SecAF, and always smiled when I had the chance to see her.
I thank her for her devotion to duty, and I thank her family for sharing her with the AF in a tough but terribly important job. Finally, I wish her the very best in her retirement, knowing that she and her spouse will have to watch Air Force vs. Navy games in separate rooms (her husband is a Marine and Naval Academy grad.)
UPDATE: We just received the academy's news release on Born's retirement. Here it is:
The Air Force Academy Superintendent,
Lt Gen Mike Gould, announced today that Brig. Gen. Dana H. Born plans to
retire during the summer of 2013. General Born, a 1983 USAFA graduate, has
served as the 9th USAFA Dean of The Faculty since Oct. 1, 2004.
"General Born's departure will be a tremendous loss for all the
mission partners who work with the Dean of Faculty, and for the entire
Academy. She is undoubtedly one of the most influential and innovative
Deans in the Academy's history," said Lt. Gen. Gould. "General Born's
leadership, enthusiasm and vision have been instrumental in every major
strategic initiative undertaken by the Academy during the past decade, and
she and her family have served honorably and faithfully for nearly 30 years.
Selfishly, our Academy family is saddened by Dana's decision to retire, but
at the same time, we're proud of, and thrilled for, the Born Family."
These initiatives include: serving as the Academy's chief architect
for the ground-breaking Officer Development System; acting as the Academy's
point person during the sexual assault/harassment challenges; leading the
Academy's educational and research programs to top national rankings;
bolstering the institution's learning culture and guiding the Academy's
extraordinary ten year accreditation effort - resulting in an unprecedented
16 accolades by the Higher Learning Commission; introducing several
innovative programs into the curricula to include Unmanned Aerial Systems
and cyber warfare; overhauling the Academy's assessment architecture by
designing the Academy's strategic plan; enhancing diversity and fostering
inclusive excellence for cadets and faculty; and, greatly expanding the
language and culture immersion programs.
Starting Nov. 13, 2012, Air Force officials will post advertisements
for Gen Born's replacement both in military personnel system channels as
well as through national higher education publications. Soon thereafter,
the Secretary of the Air Force will charter a search committee to review
applicants and make recommendations to the Secretary and the Air Force Chief
—-ORIGINAL POST WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 3:32 P.M.—-
Brig. Gen. Dana Born, one of the most controversial figures at the Air Force Academy, will announce her intentions to retire within 24 hours, according to a source that did not want to be named.
Born came to the academy amid the sexual assault scandal in 2004 and has been a lightning rod of controversy on several fronts:
— After coming to the academy, she quickly became the center of focus for helping to sponsor an ad in the Academy Spirit newspaper promoting Christianity and was repeatedly accused of fostering an environment in which fundamentalist Christians were shown favoritism. Cadets responded in climate surveys that Christianity was the favored religion at the academy.
— Born also became the focus of an Inspector General's investigation for allegedly misrepresenting faculty credentials to the academy's accreditation agency. That investigation later concluded that she and her vice dean were negligent under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as we reported here. There apparently was no significant punishment for the finding that she violated the violation — failure to obey an order or regulation. She retained her position and her rank under academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould.
— In addition, she was accused earlier this year of ordering a counter-insurgency against the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group headed by 1977 AFA grad Mikey Weinstein, who is Jewish, to combat favoritism of any religion in the military. When questioned under oath about the order, she denied it, which Weinstein says was perjury, because the order was actually written in a faculty member's performance evaluation.
A person familiar with academy personnel said Born's departure, planned for this summer, is to be announced to faculty Thursday, and the academy will place an ad in the Chronicle of Higher Education advertising the vacancy, which means it could be filled by a civilian — a first for the academy. The source asked not to be named, because Born's retirement hasn't been announced publicly and must be approved by a process that involves the senior leader officer management office and the Air Force Secretary.
Born recently attended an alumni function at Penn State, where she obtained a doctoral degree, and was honored as an alumni fellow.