Purdue names dean for College of Liberal Arts

June 28, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue officials on Monday (June 28) announced that Irwin Weiser will be the new dean of the university's College of Liberal Arts.

Irwin Weiser

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The appointment, subject to ratification by the Purdue's Board of Trustees, is effective Thursday (July 1), said Timothy Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.

"Dr. Weiser's leadership as interim dean, his integrity, and his plans to advance the college during this time of transition are well-matched to the challenges and opportunities we face," Sands said. "This is a great time for the College of Liberal Arts, and we are fortunate to have a person of Dr. Weiser's unique abilities."

Weiser has served as interim dean of the college since July 6, 2009. Prior to that, he was head of the Department of English since 2002. He has been teaching and administering introductory writing programs, including developmental writing, at Purdue since 1981. Weiser's primary area of interest is composition pedagogy, and he has focused his graduate teaching on topics such as writing across the curriculum, writing assessment and composition research methods.

As dean, Weiser will work with faculty, staff and students to create new opportunities and shape the college's identity following the recent realignment that created the College of Health and Human Sciences, which will include three departments formerly in the College of Liberal Arts.

The College of Liberal Arts will consist of eight departments: anthropology, communication, English, foreign languages and literatures, history, philosophy, political science, and sociology, as well as The Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts and 17 interdisciplinary programs.

"As we move forward, we have an opportunity to create a more cohesive and focused college where innovative scholarship, teaching and engagement take place in the arts, humanities and social sciences," Weiser said. "Some of my goals include emphasizing interdisciplinary collaborations and external funding, reviewing the core curriculum, encouraging more opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research and community engagement, and becoming a significant contributor to the Global Policy Research Institute.

"The College of Liberal Arts has a rich history at Purdue, and I am honored and excited to be part of the college's story as we continue to move forward."

Weiser came to Purdue in 1981 after working at Tennessee Technological University, Illinois State University, University of Louisville and Indiana University. He earned his doctorate and master's degrees from Indiana University in 1976 and 1973, respectively. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1971 from Miami University of Ohio.