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Clarke appointed associate dean of faculty

Professor Deborah Clarke
April 17, 2013

Deborah Clarke, professor of English, has been named the associate dean of faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.

In her new position, Clarke will serve as the administrative officer responsible for recruitment, retention, diversity and faculty development for the college. Besides serving as the main point of contact for faculty-related issues, Clarke will oversee faculty searches and reviews, and work closely with college leadership, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the College Senate to support, guide and advocate on behalf of departments, schools and the college’s 1,364 faculty.

Clarke starts her new duties June 1.

"I am very excited about having Deb onboard," said Robert E. Page, university vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "It is a difficult job interacting with faculty and unit leaders around some of the most important and complex administrative activities of the university: the hiring, promotion and tenure of faculty. She is experienced, has the respect of the faculty, and has the right personality to do it well.”

Clarke joined ASU’s Department of English in 2008, after spending 20 years at Pennsylvania State University. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate from Yale University. Her primary field of study is 20th century American fiction, particularly the work of William Faulkner and women writers. She has published two books and numerous articles.  

In her most recent book, "Driving Women: Fiction and Automobile Culture in Twentieth-Century America," she examines the intersection of American fiction and automobile culture, arguing that issues critical to 20th century American society – technology, mobility, domesticity and agency – are repeatedly articulated through women's relationships with cars.

Her current work examines financial issues in a project tentatively titled "Alternative Economies: Credit, Debt, and Barter in Twentieth-Century American Fiction."

“I feel that the close connections between the arts, sciences and social sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are at the forefront of new directions in higher education, and I am eager to help advance the ability of our faculty in their pursuit of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary interests, teaching and research,” said Clarke. “After several years on the University Promotion and Tenure committee, I’ve learned a great deal about the excellence and diverse interests of our faculty, and look forward to working with people across the college.”

Throughout her career, Clarke has taken on a wide range of administrative duties in addition to her research pursuits. She served for two years as the chair of the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, is a member of the University Graduate Council and on the executive board for ASU’s Faculty Women’s Association. While as a Dean’s Administrative Fellow, she worked to develop a college-wide study of mentoring for a faculty mentoring system.

Clarke has received numerous awards and honors for her scholarship, teaching, advising and mentoring, including the Best Faculty Mentor in Literature from ASU’s graduate students in English. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Penn State Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and she served as a Beatrice Bain Research Fellow at University of California-Berkeley. She is also the president of the William Faulkner Society and the past present of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers.