On Monday, it was announced internally that Interim Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering Richard Feldman will now become the Dean of the College. Feldman was appointed to the position by Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of the College of Arts, Science and Engineering and Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Peter Lennie.
“Dean Peter Lennie recently announced changes to the College administration, highlighting new appointments and describing the rationale behind the restructuring,” Assistant Director of Public Relations Enid Arbelo said in a statement. “Among the changes is the appointment of a new Dean of Arts and Sciences as a counterpart to the Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences.”
Feldman’s appointment lasts for four years and is concurrent with Lennie’s appointment; their terms will end in June 2011.
According to Lennie, when he joined the faculty over the summer, he needed to find a new dean for the College due to former Dean of the College William Green’s departure. However, Lennie felt that he did not understand enough about the responsibility to want to make an immediate appointment; as such, he asked Feldman to fill in as Interim Dean.
“[Feldman] has a wide experience in undergraduate affairs, so I asked him to be Dean and he graciously accepted,” Lennie said. “I was delighted at what he was able to achieve over the course of eight months.”
When asked about the process of choosing a candidate for the Dean of the College position, Lennie responded that he had thought hard about who would be the best person for the job. He consulted both President Joel Seligman and Provost Charles Phelps throughout the process.
“[Feldman] has a complete mastery of all aspects of a complicated portfolio,” Lennie said. “He works very effectively with a huge variety of people whose efforts we need to make us succeed most effectively.”
Feldman himself could not be more enthusiastic about the appointment, noting that he has been fully engaged from the beginning.
“When this opportunity came along, I decided to do it partly out of loyalty to UR but more because I found myself excited by the prospect of playing a role leading the College in the coming years,” Feldman said. “I think that President Seligman and Dean Lennie will set the tone for making this an even better place, and I think that it will be a rewarding challenge to participate in this effort.”
As part of his new appointment, Feldman will focus his work on curricular issues, as well as oversee various co-curricular matters, which he finds to be an “ideal mix.”
As Dean of the College, he will work to accomplish certain goals, such as ensuring the College does not lose its “intimate character” that attracts so many students as the College inevitably grows in the coming years. He notes that this will take continued discussion with students and careful planning.
Feldman also wishes to work toward a continuing growth of student involvement in the surrounding community as well as the increased facilitation of research opportunities for undergraduates in all areas of the College.
Despite his new position, Feldman loves his job as a philosophy professor and wishes to keep in touch with students.
“One of the things about my particular role as Dean, in contrast to the other administrative jobs in the College, is the remarkable variety and combination of things that I am involved in,” Feldman said. “Even though I will not be teaching as much as I have in the past, I still do maintain contact with students. I’d be very unhappy if I didn’t continue to spend time with students.”
Halusic is a member of the class of 2010.