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Langland to lead New College

July 18, 2007

Elizabeth Langland has been named vice president and dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. Langland will lead the college’s effort to enhance its academic excellence and achieve far-reaching social relevance, ASU President Michael Crow announced.

Langland will assume her new role Sept. 1, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.

Langland has more than 30 years experience in higher education. She currently serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs for State University New York-Purchase College (SUNY-Purchase). She is responsible for such areas as academic programs and services, program development and review, strategic planning, general education and assessment, and faculty development.

“Elizabeth’s experience as chief academic officer as well as a scholar and professor, have prepared her well for leading the largest college at ASU’s West campus,” Crow says. “She is well-respected in the field of higher education and possesses the vision, experience and creativity critical to building strategic new directions for the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.”

Elizabeth D. Capaldi, ASU’s executive vice president and university provost, adds: “Dr. Langland is a humanist with a deep understanding of the intellectual basis of the core liberal arts, and an ability to make connections across these disciplines, a perfect fit for the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. She also understands the importance of connecting these areas to the professional schools at ASU’s West campus and will work well with the other deans.”

As an academic scholar, Langland specializes in Victorian literature, feminist and gender theory, cultural studies, and theory of the novel. She has received significant teaching, research and administrative recognition throughout her career in education. At the University of Florida, she earned three college teaching awards, as well as a university award for distinguished teaching and another for distinguished scholarship.

“I am delighted to be joining the leadership team at Arizona State University at this exciting time in the institution’s history,” Langland says. “During my recent visit to campus, I was impressed by the university’s dynamism and was more convinced than ever that ASU has the ability to move swiftly to the forefront of this nation’s leading urban, public, research universities. I look forward to working with fellow deans, faculty, staff and students at the West campus to realize President Crow’s distinctive vision for this New American University, and I am eager to help advance the interdisciplinary teaching and research that are at the heart of the New College.”

Langland, a wide-ranging scholar, has published eight books focused on the intersections of gender, class, race, ethnicities and nationalities in Victorian literature. Before serving SUNY-Purchase, Langland led the arts and sciences at University of California-Davis since 1999. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Barnard College, and master’s and doctoral degrees in English literature from the University of Chicago.

Before spending time at UC-Davis, Langland taught English literature at Vanderbilt University, Converse College and the University of Florida, where she was associate dean for faculty affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Elizabeth brings a deep sense of understanding in the power of university education and research,” Crow says. “Her administrative skills and extensive experience as a first-rate leader at SUNY-Purchase make her the ideal person to lead ASU’s New College.”

New College offers a comprehensive interdisciplinary and disciplinary undergraduate and graduate degrees range of programs through its 21 academic departments. Students at ASU’s West campus take courses in the college as part of their core curriculum requirements and are prepared for the social, economic, political and cultural challenges they face in a rapidly expanding, diverse global marketplace.

Langland began her academic career in 1975 as an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, where she helped establish and direct the women’s studies program. Langland subsequently became chair of the English department at Converse College in South Carolina, rebuilding and reinvigorating the department during her three years there. In 1985, she joined the faculty at the University of Florida, serving from 1990 through 1994 as director of graduate studies in English before becoming associate dean for faculty affairs for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1995.

Langland brings a wealth of invaluable experience as a scholar, teacher and top-level administrator to ASU as she fills the role of vice president and dean of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, says John Hepburn, chair of the search committee and dean of ASU’s College of Human Services.

“As vice president, she will represent the west campus within ASU's administrative leadership team and within the communities we serve,” Hepburn says. “As dean of New College, Dr. Langland will lead the faculty’s efforts to transform the college into a nationally recognized center for interdisciplinary research and teaching, to sustain academic excellence in the college, and to assure student success at ASU.”

Langland replaces Barry Ritchie, who has served as interim dean of New College for the past year. Ritchie will return to teaching and research at ASU’s Tempe campus.