The following is from a memorandum sent by Dean Samuel Preston on
Friday, January 16, to the standing faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences.
SAS: Dr. Rebecca Bushnell as Associate Dean for Humanities;
Reorganization of the Dean's Office
Just prior to the official start of my deanship this week, I received
word that Eugene Narmour, who served as Associate Dean for the Humanities
and Social Sciences since 1995, suffered a minor stroke just after the
new year began. To everyone's great relief, Gene is recovering nicely and
plans to continue as a faculty member in Music. Under the circumstances,
however, Gene has informed me that he is stepping down from his post as
Associate Dean, effective immediately.
Gene's sudden departure from the Dean's office is a tremendous loss
for SAS, and I would like to express my gratitude for all that he has done
to strengthen the School. Gene's accomplishments during the past two and
a half years-whether in helping to recruit and retain top faculty, leading
our effort to establish a new Humanities Center, or spearheading the revitalization
of area studies and foreign language instruction-have been extraordinary.
As a longtime friend and colleague of Gene's, I was very much looking forward
to working with him in the Dean's office. I know that you join me in wishing
Gene a speedy recovery and a well-deserved rest.
In my conversations with Gene, his most central concern was identifying
someone who could carry on the momentum that we have achieved in the humanities.
In that connection, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Rebecca
W. Bushnell, Professor of English, to the newly-configured post of Associate
Dean for Arts and Letters.
Rebecca's scholarship, which is enabled by a mastery of six languages,
ranges from Sophoclean tragedy to English Renaissance drama and includes
forays into theatre and politics. This versatility will be a vital asset
in the administration of the many activities under her purview. Her most
recent book is A Culture of Teaching: Early Modern Humanism in Theory
and Practice (Cornell, 1996). Rebecca's outstanding teaching was honored
with a Lindback Award in 1986, and she has received fellowships from the
ACLS and the Folger Institute.
Rebecca's service to the English department, the School, and the University
has been exemplary. She chaired the Graduate Group in English from 1991
to 1994, currently chairs the SAS Committee on Undergraduate Education
and is a member of the Humanities panel of the SAS Personnel Committee.
She was director of the campus-wide Presidential Commission on Strengthening
the Community (1993-94) and has also served as chair of the University
Council Committee on Libraries (1995-96).
Rebecca received her B.A. with distinction in English literature from
Swarthmore College, an M.A. in English literature from Bryn Mawr College,
and an M.A. and Ph.D. with distinction in comparative literature from Princeton
University. She joined Penn's English faculty as an assistant professor
in 1984 and became a full professor in 1995.
Rebecca will be an extraordinarily effective spokesperson for arts and
letters across both SAS and the University and to external constituencies
as well. She brings to the Dean's office a broad perspective on the humanities
that will be critical to our efforts to maintain and advance our outstanding
programs of scholarship and teaching in this area.
I have reorganized the Dean's office so that all four associate deans
will be responsible for direct departmental oversight.
- As Associate Dean for Arts and Letters, Rebecca Bushnell will be responsible
for the departments of Classical Studies, English, Folklore and Folklife,
German, History of Art, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Romance Languages,
and Slavic Languages.
- Associate Dean David Balamuth will add oversight of the Linguistics
department to his present duties.
- In addition to his duties as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Walter
Licht will be responsible for the departments of Anthropology, Asian and
Middle Eastern Studies, History, Sociology, and South Asia Regional Studies.
- College Dean Rick Beeman, who is chairing the University's task force
to identify senior appointments in the Political Science department, will
be directly responsible for that department.
Supported by our talented set of associate deans and department chairs,
I look forward to working with the faculty in the years ahead.
-- Samuel H. Preston, Dean