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Wheeler taps Bacon, Lederman as new deans


May 17, 2007

Two professors from the cadre of chairs and directors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have been tapped to lead the college's largest divisions: the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Division of Social Sciences.

They are:

• Sid Bacon, who chaired the Department of Speech and Hearing Science before becoming interim dean of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in December, has been appointed dean of that division.

• Linda Costigan Lederman, a professor of health communication in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and director of the Institute for Social Science Research, has been appointed dean of the Division of Social Sciences.

The appointments were made by Quentin Wheeler, ASU vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Wheeler, who was named vice president and dean in December as part of a university academic reorganization, previously was serving as interim dean of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Wheeler, an entomologist, also is director of the International Institute for Species Exploration at ASU.

“There's strength and forward motion everywhere at ASU,” Wheeler told the college's chairs and directors earlier this year. “The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the university are changing rapidly. There are very few universities where you can transcend boundaries between disciplines to overcome constraints of the past. That's happening here, and it's happening fast.”

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the university's largest and most diverse college with 30 schools, departments and programs, and 28 research centers and institutes. It was reconfigured in the summer of 2004 into three divisions, in part to maintain the breadth and interdisciplinary opportunities across arts and sciences, while providing a functional model for administration. Each of the divisions is led by a dean.

Additionally, as part of the reorganization this winter, Alan Artibise, dean of the Division of Social Sciences, was appointed executive dean of the college, a newly created position to shoulder a good deal of the college's day-to-day management. Artibise also is executive director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and a professor of political science.

Lederman will assume the duties of dean of the Division of Social Sciences May 15. Bacon was named dean of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in February. The college's other division – Humanities – is under the leadership of dean Deborah Losse.

In addition to being the largest college at ASU, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is also one of the largest liberal arts and sciences colleges in the country. With some 13,000 undergraduate students, nearly 3,000 graduate students and almost 3,000 faculty and staff, including 725 tenured/tenure track faculty, the college offers more than 100 degrees in its three divisions.