Advisory committee named to assist search for next LSA dean


Provost Laurie K. McCauley has named a 19-member advisory committee to assist the search for the University of Michigan’s next dean of LSA.

The committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni has been tasked with conducting a broad search and recommending an unranked slate of candidates to the provost.

The next dean will succeed Anne Curzan, whose five-year term will end June 30, 2024, and who is not seeking reappointment as dean.

Curzan said she plans to return to the LSA faculty, where she is the Geneva Smitherman Collegiate Professor of English Language and Literature, Linguistics and Education, and professor of English language and literature and of linguistics.

In an email to colleagues announcing the search, McCauley asked them to consider “key issues that the College will face over the next five to ten years, and important attributes of a new dean.”

The advisory committee will be chaired by Rebecca Lange, the Alexander N. Halliday Collegiate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and professor of earth and environmental sciences in LSA.

In addition to Lange, the committee includes:

  • William Calvo-Quirós, associate professor of American culture in LSA, and associate professor of art and design in the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.
  • Liliana Cortéz-Ortiz, research associate professor in ecology and evolutionary biology, intermittent lecturer in ecology and evolutionary biology, director of the Frontiers Master’s Program, and lecturer I in anthropology in LSA.
  • Jeff Craft, chief administrator for the departments of History of Art and Classical Studies in LSA.
  • Thomas Finholt, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs in Office of the Provost, and professor of information in the School of Information.
  • Murad Idris, associate professor of political science, associate director of the Global Islamic Studies Center in LSA.
  • Pristina Koon, undergraduate student, humanities and social sciences in LSA.
  • Gavin LaRose, teaching professor, Karen Rhea Collegiate Lecturer, lecturer IV in mathematics in LSA; information services consultant.
  • Peggy McCracken, Anna Julia Cooper Distinguished University Professor of Medieval French Literature, Mary Fair Croushore Professor, Domna C. Stanton Collegiate Professor of French, professor of French, of women’s and gender studies, and of comparative literature, and director of the Institute for the Humanities in LSA. 
  • Kevin Pipe, associate dean for undergraduate education, professor of mechanical engineering, and of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering.
  • Lori Ploutz-Snyder, dean and professor of movement science in the School of Kinesiology.
  • Robin Queen, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Sarah G. Thomason Collegiate Professor of Linguistics, professor of Germanic languages and literatures, of linguistics, and of English language and literature, and chair of the Department of Communication and Media in LSA.
  • Daniel Rife, director, facilities and operations for LSA.
  • Melanie Sanford, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Moses Gomberg Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and professor of chemistry in LSA.
  • Teresa Sebastian, alumna; intermittent lecturer in law in the Law School; member of the LSA Dean’s Advisory Council; president and CEO of The Dominion Asset Group    
  • Isis Settles, professor of psychology, of Afroamerican and African studies, and of women’s and gender studies, and associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in LSA.
  • Jennifer Sierra, Ph.D. student, social sciences in LSA.
  • Melvin Stephens Jr., professor of economics in LSA; professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; faculty associate in the Survey Research Center and Population Studies Center in the Institute for Social Research.
  • Jeffrey Veidlinger, Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies, professor of Judaic studies, and of history in LSA.

In the email announcing the search committee, McCauley said she is looking forward to the selection of a new LSA dean who “will further enhance the College’s expansive, outstanding research and educational efforts.”

The committee will partner with the Isaacson, Miller executive search firm, and will receive staff support from the Office of the Provost, including Heather Mozes, senior project manager, and project managers Zarinah Aquil and Cecilio Palacio.

The committee’s first meeting was Nov. 9. To nominate prospective candidates or ask questions of the committee chair, email [email protected].



  1. Jessyca Hannah
    on November 14, 2023 at 8:12 am

    Really? 15 professors, 2 staff, and 2 students. So much for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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