To:        Executive Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments and Offices

From:    David A. Reingold, the Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts

Date:     January 12, 2016

Re:        Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies

It is my pleasure to announce that Professor Venetria K. Patton has been appointed the Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Professor Patton’s experience as the director of African American Studies and Research Center for twelve years and Provost Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion will be an asset to the School and the College of Liberal Arts.

She earned her B.A. in English from the University of La Verne and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside. Professor Patton’s teaching and research focus on African American and Diasporic Women’s Literature. She is the author of Women in Chains: The Legacy of Slavery in Black Women’s Fiction (SUNY, 2000), the co-editor of Double-Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology (Rutgers, 2001) and editor of Background Readings for Teachers of American Literature (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006). She recently published The Grasp That Reaches Beyond the Grave: The Ancestral Call in Black Women’s Texts (SUNY, 2013) and edited a second edition of Background Readings for Teachers of American Literature (2014). Professor Patton is a former chair of the Purdue Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff and a former board member of the National Council for Black Studies and the Hanna Community Center.

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies was founded in 2014 and is the home of 14 programs, including African American Studies, American Studies, Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Comparative Literature, Film and Video Studies, Global Studies, Jewish Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Linguistics, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Peace Studies, Religious Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Please join me in thanking the members of the search and screen committee, including Rosie Clawson (chair), TJ Boisseau, Cheryl Cooky, Rayvon Fouché, Shaun Hughes, Silvia Mitchell, Dawn Stinchcomb, and Joshua Perry.