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Kenney appointed ASU vice provost, dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Patrick Kenney
July 01, 2014

Patrick Kenney, a professor of political science, founding director of the School of Politics and Global Studies and director of The Institute for Social Science Research, has been appointed university vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.

“ASU is a venue for educational discourse related to politics and society, and an incubator for discovery and development that helps students to be socially aware citizens capable of thinking critically,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Patrick Kenney’s 12 years of leadership at ASU and exceptional grounding in research and social sciences position him perfectly to offer the guidance necessary to advance ASU’s largest unit and develop the educational and research underpinnings needed to address the complex challenges facing our society.”

Kenney’s appointment takes effect immediately. He assumes the leadership role held previously by Robert E. Page Jr., ASU provost and Foundation Chair of Life Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Over the last 28 years, professor Kenney empowered ASU faculty and students, opened new lines of discovery and boosted research productivity in social sciences, humanities and natural sciences,” said Page. “His ability to advance and embrace diversity and communicate across all disciplines will serve the university well.”

Kenney is a political scientist whose research focuses on campaigns, elections and voting behavior. He joined ASU’s Department of Political Science in 1986 and was named chair in 2002. He became the director of the Institute for Social Science Research in 2010. Under his leadership, ASU’s School of Political and Global Studies was founded, fusing and redefining the study of politics, philosophy, culture, law, science and global engagement.

Kenney went on to serve as associate vice provost of social sciences with the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and as dean of social sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2012, until he assumed the position of interim vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2013. The university is ranked in the top 10 in social sciences (National Science Foundation HERD survey) and in the top 20 in social sciences worldwide, according to the Center for World University Rankings.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as vice provost and dean of CLAS,” said Kenney. “It is a distinct privilege to work with an outstanding team of deans, associate deans and staff in the college.

“The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the academic heart of the university, as the vast majority of students pass through the college at some point during their ASU experience," said Kenney. "The directors, faculty and staff of the academic units and research centers are gifted, hard-working and determined to advance the teaching and research missions of the university.

"The college has been my home for nearly three decades. I’m looking forward to playing a new role in its evolution as we strive to meet the key goals of graduating more students, competing for research funding and producing nationally and internationally recognized scholarship.”

Kenney received his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Iowa. He has authored and co-authored articles in the journals American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Political Behavior and the Journal of Politics. He has also co-authored three books with ASU colleague Kim Fridkin, including “The Spectacle of U.S. Senate Campaigns” and “No-Holds Barred: Negativity in U.S. Senate Campaigns.” Their most recent work is “The Changing Face of Representation: The Gender of U.S. Senators and Constituent Communications,” published in 2014.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was established in 1953 and is the largest college on the ASU campus, with more than 20,000 students and 750 tenured faculty. In his role as vice provost and dean, Kenney will oversee liberal arts and sciences’ 60 schools, departments, institutes and centers.