Dever named dean of College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt

Carolyn Dever, interim dean of the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt University, has accepted an appointment as dean, effective immediately.

"Carolyn is an outstanding and respected scholar and teacher who will boldly lead the College of Arts and Science into the future," said Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos. "She is a proven academic leader who embraces challenges and opportunities alike, and I am grateful that the college, and indeed all of Vanderbilt, will continue to benefit from her talent and leadership."

Dever was offered the position after a national search to replace Richard McCarty, named provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at Vanderbilt in May. Her appointment is pending approval by the Board of Trust.

"It was the considered opinion of the search committee that Dean Dever clearly stood out from an impressive group of candidates based on her record of scholarly accomplishments and her leadership skills, breadth of experience and vision for Arts and Science," McCarty said.

Edie Johnson, a Board of Trust member and part of the search committee for the position, said Dever had a "deep deep commitment to and vast knowledge of every part of the College of Arts and Science."

"Her outstanding performance as interim dean and the widespread respect she has among her faculty colleagues made Carolyn a natural choice for this important position, Johnson said. "Vanderbilt is fortunate to have such an energetic and visionary leader."

The search committee was chaired by Ned Porter, Stevenson Professor of Chemistry and chair of the department.

"We are deeply grateful to the members of the search committee who worked tirelessly and effectively to ensure this happy outcome for the university," Porter said. "Carolyn has been a superb leader in the Office of the Dean for more than four years."

Dever, a professor of English, is an expert on Victorian literature and gender studies. Her books include Skeptical Feminisms: Activist Theory, Activist Practice, Death and the Mother from Dickens to Freud: Victorian Fiction and the Anxiety of Origins, and she edited with Margaret Cohen The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel.

Dever served for two years as the first associate dean for graduate education in the College of Arts and Science, then returned after a year-long research sabbatical as executive dean of Arts and Science with responsibilities for faculty and research. She was appointed interim dean in June.

"The College of Arts and Science has never been stronger, thanks to the dedication of the faculty, students, and staff, and the leadership of the university," Dever said. "I am honored by the opportunity to lead Arts and Science into the next phase of its distinguished history."

The College of Arts and Science is Vanderbilt’s largest school, with nearly 4,000 students. Vanderbilt, founded in 1873, is a private research university with more than 11,000 students. It is one of Tennessee’s largest employers with more than 22,000 employees. It has been consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 universities.

Media Contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS