UR Professor of biology Gloria Culver was chosen as the new Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences this week. As dean, Culver will preside over most academic departments, with the exception of engineering programs. The announcement was made in a press release from UR Communications on Tuesday, which stated that Culver had been chosen after an almost year-long search for the new dean. Culver had served as interim dean during that time.

Former Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and retired biology professor Joanna Olmstead stepped down in July of 2014, creating a vacancy in the position. That same month, UR Provost Peter Lennie appointed Culver as the interim dean, saying in the most recent press release that “she had done a marvelous job leading a large and complex department.” Prior to her appointment as interim dean, Culver had been the chair of the Department of Biology, a position that is now filled by professor John Jaenike. Culver’s biology research is focused on ribosomes, the cellular machinery responsible for making proteins, and the medical applications of understanding ribosomal machinery in bacteria.

William FitzPatrick, who is the Gideon Webster Burbank Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, has led the search for a new dean over the past year. In a press release, he noted that Culver brings to the position a great deal of experience, both in research and administration.

Culver said in the press release that her immediate goals for the School of Arts & Sciences are to create a Humanities Center and an Institute for the Performing Arts. “Both of these initiatives are critical for faculty and student recruitment, retention and scholarship,” Culver said.

“This is an outstanding appointment,” President Joel Seligman was quoted as saying. “Gloria Culver has done an excellent job as interim dean. I look forward to working with her in the years to come.”

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