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Your faculty and staff news since 1965
May 9, 2005
Volume 40, Number 10

A&S makes strides in female, minority hires


By Carolyn Gonzales

Reed Dasenbrock, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2001, stepped up to serve as interim provost this spring.
Dasenbrock is proud of the strides made in minority hires and promotions in the college under his direction.

“Thirty percent of those we’ve hired are women or minorities,” he said.

When Dasenbrock began his deanship, the college had only one tenure-track Native American faculty member. “By fall, we will have 10, including two high profile hires,” he said.

Joy Harjo currently on faculty at UCLA, and Gerald Vizenor, Berkeley, will join the A&S faculty.

“In one bound, we have attracted two of the best Native American writers in the country,” Dasenbrock said.

Another hiring coup is luring Finnie Coleman away from Texas A&M. Coleman, who is African American, will hold joint appointments in English and American Studies.

Dasenbrock notes Vera Norwood’s appointment as senior associate dean, Richard Santos as interim associate dean as well as various minority chair appointments as points of pride.

Another A&S accomplishment occurred under the direction of Norwood, who set standards and created start-up packets for research support for humanities and social science faculty. The process guarantees associate professors a research semester without teaching obligations.

Dasenbrock points to the success in establishing a fund for professional development for mid-career faculty. “It helps provide conditions under which faculty can succeed,” Dasenbrock said.
Dasenbrock has also worked to build on spousal and partner hires, both for recruitment and retention of faculty.

Dasenbrock has focused on programs as well as people. “We have established the BA/MD, a program to attract highly motivated students from around the state into a seven-year medical program,” he said.

He said that the aim of the program is to bring in students, educate them as medical professionals interested in going back and serving rural communities. The program will feature faculty holding joint appointments in the School of Medicine and College of Arts and Sciences.

Similarly, the NS/MS, nanoscience and microsystems, a joint project with the School of Engineering, will allow students to pursue master and doctoral degrees across disciplines.

“These are but two interdisciplinary projects developed in conjunction with other schools and colleges from the ground up,” he said.