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University of Utah names new dean for the College of Humanities

Dianne Harris has been named the dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Utah

April 10, 2015 – Dianne Harris, director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) and professor of landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be the next dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Utah, pending approval by the U’s Board of Trustees.

“Dianne has been an innovative scholar and leader throughout her career. Under her leadership, IPRH secured significant external funding to enable scholarship and creative partnerships in the humanities and arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,” said Ruth Watkins, senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the U. “We are very pleased to have Dianne join us and we extend to her and her family a warm welcome.”

Harris holds a doctorate in architectural history from the University of California, Berkeley and is best known for her scholarly contributions to the study of “race and space” – the relationship between the built environment and construction of racial and class identities. She is the author of several books, including “The Nature of Authority: Villa Culture, Landscape, and Representation in Eighteenth-Century Lombardy,” “Maybeck’s Landscapes: Drawing in Nature” and “Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America.” She is also editor of the multidisciplinary volume “Second Suburb: Levittown, Pennsylvania,” series editor for the University of Pittsburgh Press’s “Culture, Politics, and The Built Environment” and co-editor of several works.

“I am absolutely delighted to be selected to serve as the next dean of the College of Humanities and to be joining the University of Utah community,” said Harris. “The college’s outstanding students and faculty, along with its excellent departments, programs and centers, makes this a unique opportunity, full of exciting possibilities. I can’t think of a better place to help advance humanities scholarship and teaching than the U, and I look forward to collaborating with new colleagues, students, university and community partners and supporters.”

A national search committee was created in September 2014 to find a new dean after Robert D. Newman was appointed president and director of the National Humanities Center. Newman has been dean since 2001 and is responsible for strengthening educational outreach efforts and developing new programs in areas including environmental humanities.