Purdue launches search for Liberal Arts dean

September 5, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is launching a national search for a new dean of its College of Liberal Arts to replace Irwin Weiser, who is stepping down next summer.

June 30, 2014, marks the end of Weiser's four-year appointment, which began July 2010 after serving as interim dean the previous year.

"Dean Weiser has done an extraordinary job in leading one of Purdue's largest colleges. He has been instrumental in supporting and growing undergraduate research opportunities, investing in faculty research grants and creating interdisciplinary faculty positions," said Timothy Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. "He also worked to successfully restore a balanced budget, and he guided the college through a two-year transition as part of a realignment with the College of Health and Human Sciences. We are appreciative for his leadership in moving the College of Liberal Arts forward."

Chris Ladisch, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, is leading the search for the next Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. A search committee will be named this month, and a new dean is expected be announced by the end of the spring semester.

Weiser will remain at Purdue and return to teaching in the Department of English where he was previously head from 2002-09. His 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.

"It has been an honor to serve the College of Liberal Arts and Purdue as dean," Weiser said. "I have appreciated and learned from the opportunities I have had to work with truly gifted members of the faculty and staff of the college, with inspiring and engaged students, with committed and loyal alumni, and with my generous and creative fellow deans and other members of the Purdue administration. I look forward to continuing my support of the college that plays a central role in the education of every Purdue undergraduate student."

The College of Liberal Arts is one of the largest at Purdue, with more than 275 tenured or tenure-track faculty, more than 3,700 undergraduate students, and 770 graduate students. The college houses the Brian Lamb School of Communication, the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, and the School of Languages and Cultures, as well as the departments of Anthropology, Communication, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology. The college also is home to 15 interdisciplinary studies programs and a variety of centers including the Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion and the Center on Religion and Chinese Society.

The dean of the College of Liberal Arts is an endowed deanship, named in honor of Justin S. Morrill, and one of only four such college deanships at Purdue. Morrill was a driving force in the 1862 College Land Grant Act, which created the foundation for universities such as Purdue. The legislation is now known as the Morrill Act in his honor.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu 

Sources: Timothy Sands, 765-494-9709, tsands@purdue.edu

Irwin Weiser, 765-494-3661, iweiser@purdue.edu

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