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On June 1, Diehl began his tenure as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Randy L. Diehl, a professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, Leads University's Largest Community

Posted: June 1, 2007

Randy L. Diehl, a professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, began his tenure as dean of the College of Liberal Arts on June 1.

The college is the largest community at the university with 600 faculty members, 450 staff members and more than 14,000 students. Liberal arts programs in social sciences and humanities are the intellectual core of the university.

During his installation as president, William Powers Jr. identified the college as an important player in his vision for the university and pledged more than $1.3 million to the nationally recognized History Department whose faculty members include the 2006 Pulitzer Prize recipient David Oshinsky.

"This is a great time for the college," said Diehl, who as dean will hold the David Bruton Jr. Regents Chair in Liberal Arts. "President Powers and Provost Steven Leslie have stressed that The University of Texas at Austin cannot be great unless the College of Liberal Arts is great. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them--and with faculty, department chairs, center directors, students and staff--to achieve that goal."

Diehl has been a faculty member of the nationally recognized Department of Psychology since 1975. He was chair of the department from 1995 to 1999, leading a period of expansion that included the construction of the state-of-the-art Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay Building. Prior to assuming the leadership of the college, he was the department's graduate adviser.

Diehl is a well-respected psychology researcher in the area of cognition and perception. As a member of the Center for Perceptual Systems, he researches perception and production of speech sounds and auditory category learning.

Words are series of distinctive sounds--sequences of vowels and consonants--and Diehl examines how they vary acoustically depending on who's saying them. For example, men and women speak differently, as do children and adults.

Diehl earned his bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Illinois and a doctor's degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

"Randy has the personal and professional capabilities, the energy and commitment to excellence, and leadership skills to be a superb dean," Provost Leslie said. "I look forward to working with Randy to enhance and further the already excellent standing of the College of Liberal Arts." Diehl succeeds Richard Lariviere, who became provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas last summer. Since then, Judith Langlois, the Charles and Sarah Seay Regents' Professor of Developmental Psychology, has been the interim dean.

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