“Visionary leader and strategic thinker"
In October James A. Parente, Jr., was named dean of the College of Liberal Arts by Provost Thomas Sullivan, having served for more than a year as interim dean of the University's largest college. He received Board of Regents approval in November.
“Parente will be an outstanding and visionary leader and strategic thinker who will promote excellence across the entire college," Sullivan said in making the announcement. “Those who know his exceptional academic work know that it spans multiple time periods, disciplines and languages, and know also the enormous respect he has for the social sciences, humanities and arts."
A member of the University's faculty since 1993, Parente received strong support from faculty, students, staff, and alumni.
“With Jim, CLA has a Dean who is extremely thoughtful and has great ideas for where the college can go," said Susan Craddock, Chair of the CLA Council of Chairs. “His obvious integrity and openness lend themselves to good working relations across multiple sectors of CLA and beyond, something that only improves the strength of CLA as a whole."
Bethany Khan, CLA Student Board member and former board president, said, “He is quite the well-rounded gentleman. He's really comfortable in his role as someone that we go to for advice, for help. When we bring him concerns and complaints, he's very knowledgeable."
Parente is former chair of the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch and former associate dean for faculty and research. He served on the faculty at Princeton University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in German languages and literatures from Yale University.
His awards include the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Independent Study and Research and a visiting appointment to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. He is a discipline representative to the Renaissance Society of America and external evaluator for the National Endowment for the Humanities, a dozen scholarly journals and department and academic programs at UCLA, Harvard, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania.
"As dean of this academically diverse and important college," Provost Sullivan said, “he will be committed to the values of deep, broad thinking and teaching, and he will ensure that CLA flourishes as an intellectual community."
PHOTO: Everett AYOUBZADEH