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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Academics & Research

CLASS selects Roberts for dean position

A search committee appointed John W. Roberts as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences after a thorough interview process that included more than 75 applicants. | Courtesy of Richard Bonnin

A yearlong search ended last week when Provost John Antel announced that John W. Roberts had been selected dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Roberts is the dean of Arts and Humanities at Ohio State University. He also serves as an English professor whose research and teaching interests revolve around African-American folklore.

Roberts’ term at UH officially begins July 1.

“John Roberts understands the challenges of program administration, teaching and scholarship,” Antel said in a release. “His stellar academic and administrative career, combined with his strong record of support for a diverse and global educational experience, matches the vision for a quality education that is central to our campus.”

The search committee, in an extremely intensive and selective process, reviewed more than 75 applications, conducted eight airport interviews and hosted five campus visits.

Interim Dean of CLASS Cynthia Freeland chaired the search committee that recommended Roberts for the permanent position.

“We are fortunate to be able to attract him here to UH,” Freeland said.

One of Roberts’ most recognized achievements is being former deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C.

“We agreed that Dr. Roberts was a top candidate because of his scholarly expertise in his field, his experience at several excellent universities, and his inside familiarity with the NEH,” Freeland said.

Freeland said other qualifications that made Roberts a top candidate included his experience as a dean at a large state university and his relevant expertise with administrative practices, community outreach and development. Roberts’ ability to manage a budget and hire and retain top faculty also caught Freeland’s attention.

“I will be in touch regularly over the next few months so as to keep Dr. Roberts up to date on activities and plans before he actually arrives,” Freeland said.

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