Purdue News

May 20, 2005

Adler to lead College of Liberal Arts while Purdue searches for next dean

WESTVILLE, Ind. – Purdue University officials today (Friday, May 20) announced that Thomas Adler, a professor of English, will become interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, effective June 1.

Thomas Adler
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Adler replaces Toby Parcel, who will become special assistant to the provost until Aug. 15, 2006, when she will return to the faculty in her specialty area of sociology.

"I appreciate Toby's willingness to help with assignment through my office while I am still in a transition period and searching for a new vice provost for academic affairs," Provost Sally Mason said. "I am also most grateful to Tom for stepping up, once again, to lead the college. "

Adler served as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 1995-97 and as head of the English department from 1997 to 2002. In January he became the interim associate dean for research through June. He also has served as assistant and associate dean of the Graduate School.

"Tom has strong leadership skills, impeccable scholarship and the respect of his colleagues. His experience and proven administrative ability will serve Purdue well as we conduct a nationwide search," Mason said.

Adler, whose research and writing focuses on 20th century American and British drama, chaired the Curriculum 2000 study committee for curriculum reform in the College of Liberal Arts. He earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois in 1970 and joined the Purdue faculty that same year.

Parcel, who cited personal reasons for the change, joined Purdue in 2002 after serving at Ohio State University for 18 years, including eight years as associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She also was a faculty member at the University of Iowa.

"We have accomplished so much in the College of Liberal Arts in the last three years," Parcel said. "It has been a privilege to work with so many talented, dedicated faculty and staff, both in the college and beyond."

With more than 6,100 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate students at Purdue's West Lafayette campus, the College of Liberal Arts is one of Purdue's largest. The college encompasses 11 academic departments: communication; English; foreign languages and literatures; health and kinesiology; history; philosophy; political science; psychological sciences; sociology and anthropology; speech, language, and hearing sciences; and visual and performing arts.

The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences is ranked nationally for its graduate programs. The Department of Communication also is recognized nationally for its organizational, health and interpersonal areas.

The college also is home to 13 interdisciplinary programs: African-American studies, American studies, Asian studies, classical studies, comparative literature, film studies, Italian studies, Jewish studies, linguistics, medieval studies, philosophy and literature, religious studies, and women's studies.

Writer: Jeanne V. Norberg: (765) 494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Sources: Sally Mason, (765) 494-9709, sfmason@purdue.edu

Thomas Adler, (765) 496-2373, tadler@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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