Announcement of College of Arts & Sciences Administrative Appointment

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College of Arts & Sciences

Message from the Dean

Dear colleagues,

As we begin the new academic year, I am writing to announce leadership changes at the college and department level effective August 1.

College Administration

  • Robert (R. J.) Hinde, who has been an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences for more than seven years, has been appointed the new vice provost for academic affairs. He will begin his new role on August 1.
    R.J., professor of chemistry, began his term as associate dean for teaching and diversity in the college in 2008. In 2011, he became the college's associate dean for academic programs and director of interdisciplinary programs. During his tenure as associate dean, R.J.'s portfolio included collaborating with faculty to restructure the college's undergraduate curriculum and student outcome assessment and also working closely with department heads, faculty, and staff in the areas of course scheduling and enrollment management. For a period of time he also assisted with graduate curriculum development.
    In addition to serving as the director of the college's interdisciplinary programs, R.J. worked with the Center for International Education to develop study abroad opportunities for UT students, and assisted in developing new opportunities for international students to come to our campus. Working closely with the advising services office in the college, R.J. was among the first representatives of the college to greet students and their parents during summer orientation.
    I am grateful for R.J.'s dedicated service and constant good humor, and his many contributions to advancing the college's mission and goals. The college will continue to benefit from R.J.'s leadership of academic programs in his new role as vice provost for academic affairs.
    The responsibilities once held by R.J. will be split into two interim positions, one at seventy-five percent and the other at twenty-five percent.
  • Charles (Chuck) Collins, associate professor of mathematics, has accepted the seventy-five percent appointment of interim associate dean for academic programs. Chuck's primary responsibility is to work with the faculty in the college's academic units on all aspects of undergraduate instruction, including managing the undergraduate curricula of the college, coordinating instructional funding, managing enrollment and assessment, and responding to questions about policy issues. He will be involved with several Top 25 efforts related to undergraduate education and will collaborate with the vice provost for academic affairs and Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center on a variety of issues related to undergraduate education. Chuck will also collaborate with the college's advising services director and staff. His extensive past involvement with the university general education committee will serve the college and the campus well as the university undertakes a general review of the university's general education curriculum this academic year.
    Collins received the bachelor's degree in mathematics from Texas A&M University in 1984 and the doctorate in mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1990. He spent three years at the University of Michigan before joining the UT in 1993.
    Collins' research interests are in the general area of applied mathematics, with a focus on computational methods and mathematical modeling. His most recent work has been on modeling the life dynamics and movement of feral hog populations to help understand how better to minimize their environmental impact and to limit their spread of diseases.
    His administrative experience includes serving as associate department head from 2005-2012.
  • Lynn Sacco, associate professor of history, has accepted the appointment as interim director of interdisciplinary, international, and experiential programs, a twenty-five percent appointment. Lynn's primary responsibilities will include working closely with the chairs and steering committees of the college's thirteen interdisciplinary programs, which provide students with opportunities to earn bachelor's degrees in a number of fields that span multiple academic departments. She will also serve on the Center for International Education's program abroad committee and is the college's main contact for individuals and groups seeking Ready for the World funding. A key focus for Sacco this year will be working with faculty, staff, and students in the college to develop new opportunities for experiential learning as the university embarks on Experience Learning, its new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an important component of the university's reaccreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
    Sacco received bachelor's degrees in both journalism and English from Marquette University in 1975, and a law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 1979. She practiced law in Chicago until 1994, after which she received a master's degree in American studies, with a concentration in women's studies, from SUNY-Buffalo in 1996, followed by a doctorate in history from the University of Southern California in 2001. Sacco was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before joining the UT history department in 2004. She was promoted to associate professor (with tenure) in 2010 and is currently working on her second book project.
    Sacco is a social and cultural historian of gender and sexuality. Her first book, Unspeakable: Father-Daughter Incest in American History, was published in 2009 by the Johns Hopkins University Press. At UT she has chaired the Chancellor's Commission for LGBT People, and served as faculty co-advisor for Sexual Empowerment and Awareness in Tennessee (SEAT) from 2012-15 .

Departments and Schools

Department of English

  • Allen Dunn, professor, has been appointed head of the department. He joined the university in 1985, earned tenure in 1991, and was promoted to professor in 2000. He completed the bachelor's degree at the University of California at Los Angeles, and the doctorate at the University of Washington. His scholarship focuses on critical theory. His most recent publication, The Limits of History, co-edited with Tom Haddox, was published in 2012 by the University of Tennessee Press.
    He served as director of graduate studies in the department from 2007-2011 and is co-chair of the Social Theory Graduate Certificate Program. He has served as Vice President as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Values in Higher Education. He has served one term as president of that organization (2009) and was appointed in 2014 for a second term which extends through 2017.
    Dunn's excellence in teaching has been recognized by his academic department with the Carroll Distinguished Teaching Fellowship in 2011-2013 and the John C. Hodges Excellence in Teaching Award in 1990. The college awarded him the James R. and Nell W. Cunningham Outstanding Teaching Award in 2001-2002, and the College's Junior Teaching Award in 1990-91. He received the Chancellor's Citation for Excellence in Teaching in 1998.
    Dunn replaces former department head, Stan Garner, who was first appointed August 1, 2010 for a five year term. Garner resigned the headship this year at the end of his five-year term to return to the faculty.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology  

  • Susan Kalisz, has been appointed professor and head of the department. She comes to UT from the University of Pittsburgh where she was professor of biological sciences for nineteen years and served as director of graduate studies and chair of the graduate program oversight committee. She served on the college's graduate council and the dean's budget and planning committee. At the university level, she served on the university's committee on graduate studies and the provost's committee for women's concerns. Beginning August 2009, she served for eighteen months as a rotating program director at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Environmental Biology's Population and Community Ecology (PCE) Program. Kalisz's research interests are two-pronged: the mating system and the evolutionary process, and biotic interactions, population fitness, and community invasion.
    Randall Small, associate professor, served for the past two years as interim department head during the search for a permanent head.

Department of Philosophy

  • John Nolt, professor, and Richard Aquila, professor emeritus, have been appointed as interim co-department heads following the resignation of David Reidy at the end of his term. Reidy was appointed department head in 2010 and served a five-year term.
    John joined UT in 1978 following the completion of a doctorate in philosophy from Ohio State University. He earned tenure in 1984 and was promoted to professor in 2000. His teaching and research focus mainly on environmental ethics and logic. He has held a number of leadership positions, including serving as director of undergraduate studies in the department, president of the UT Faculty Senate (2008-2009), president of Tennessee University Faculty Senates (2009-2010), and currently chairs the UT committee on the campus environment.
    Richard joined UT in 1974 following the completion of a doctorate in philosophy from Northwestern University. His areas of specialization are Kant's philosophy of mind and knowledge, Schopenhauer, and Sartre's theory of consciousness, with somewhat less focus on various themes in Descartes and Locke. Previously he has served the department as associate department head and director of graduate studies. Richard retired at the end of June 2012, but agreed to accept this interim appointment.

Department of Religious Studies

  • Rosalind Hackett, professor, resumes her appointment as head of the department on August 1, 2015. Associate Professor Rachelle Scott served as interim department head for one year beginning August 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015 while Rosalind Hackett was on professional leave.

I am grateful to those who have served as interim heads, Randy Small for two years and Rachelle Scott for one year, and also to those who served on the search committees to fill the headship position in the Department of English and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Filling these positions with able leadership is critically important.

The department heads and directors of the academic units play key roles in the administration of the college and their leadership is a pivotal factor in the college's  progress on our strategic goals as we work together to advance the college and the university.

I look forward to working with all of you in the coming academic year as we collaborate to advance the college and its mission and goals.

Best Regards,

Theresa Lee, Dean

Contact Us

College of Arts & Sciences
Office of the Dean
312 Ayres Hall
1403 Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-1330
P: (865) 974-5332
F: (865) 974-4352

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