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Dean Search Under Way

The search for a new dean of Undergraduate Studies is underway. The committee, chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Cullingford of the English department, is now formed and casting a nationwide net. The group will advise the President on his selection of the new dean. The call for applications and nominations begins:

We are seeking a strong and visionary leader with a national academic reputation, significant administrative experience, demonstrated ability for consensus building, and a passion for teaching and creating world-class, innovative undergraduate education at a top-tier research university. read the full description

The inaugural dean of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Paul Woodruff, stepped down from his post August 31, 2012. Dr. Larry Abraham has served as interim dean since September 1. “The university is very fortunate that Larry Abraham has agreed to serve as interim dean while we engage in a search for a permanent dean,” said Provost Steven Leslie. “As associate dean, Larry has worked closely with Dr. Woodruff, and he has contributed greatly to the enhancement of critical initiatives, such as the Center for Strategic Advising and Career Counseling, in the School of Undergraduate Studies. I am confident that Larry will provide stability, continuity and vision for the school during our search process for the permanent dean.”

About Interim Dean Abraham

Dr. Abraham received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio; his master of science degree from Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kan.; and his doctorate in education from Columbia University. He joined the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in 1975, teaching courses in biomechanics and neural control of movement in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education.

Leadership roles at the university have included being an associate dean of the College of Education from 1998 to 2002 and serving as chairman of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction from 2000 to 2008. He has been co-director of UTeach Natural Sciences since 2003. He was a member of the Task Force on Curricular Reform, which led to the creation of the School of Undergraduate Studies. He became associate dean of Undergraduate Studies in 2009.

Dr. Abraham said, “It is truly an honor to be asked by Provost Leslie and President Powers to serve in this capacity, advancing the efforts initiated by Dean Woodruff to improve undergraduate education at this great university. I look forward to continuing our work with faculty, staff, administrators and students across campus as we prepare UT graduates to change the world.”

About Inaugural Dean Woodruff

Dr. Woodruff began teaching at The University of Texas at Austin in 1973 with a specialty in ancient Greek philosophy. After three years as chair of the Department of Philosophy, he became director of the Plan II honors program in 1991, and went on to serve on President Powers’s Task Force on Curricular Reform in 2004-05.

Dr. Woodruff is the Darrell K. Royal Professor in Ethics and American Society, and held the Hayden Head Regents Chair as director of Plan II. He won the 1986 Harry Ransom Teaching Award, and was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 1997.

Dr. Woodruff has written a number of definitive translations from ancient Greek, including works by Plato, Sophocles, and Thucydides. Recent publications include The Ajax Dilemma (2011), The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched (2008), First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea (2005), and Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (2001).

Watch Dr. Woodruff interviewed by Bill Moyers about Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue.

President Powers announced the creation of the Paul B. Woodruff Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Studies, which will support yearly faculty appointments. The endowment recognizes Dr. Woodruff’s contributions as inaugural dean and his renewed focus on undergraduate education.

The University of Texas at Austin is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, with a strong commitment to building a diverse and equitable work environment and campus community. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply.