Provost appoints Interim Dean for College of Arts and Sciences
On Monday, Jayanth Banavar, University of Oregon Provost and Senior Vice President, announced his appointment of Bruce Blonigen as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).
In August, the college’s current dean, W. Andrew Marcus, announced his intention to step down at the end of the calendar year. Bruce Blonigen, who currently serves as the CAS dean of faculty and operations, will take over the role as interim dean at the start of the new year.
In his announcement, Banavar also shared his intention to “analyze the current structure of the college,” signaling potential changes to come in the structure of the university’s largest academic unit.
The College of Arts and Sciences, made up of three divisions and over 40 departments, has about 11,000 enrolled students and 800 faculty, or about half the university, according to 2017 data from the UO Office of Institutional Research.
The analysis of the college’s structure will be completed by a task force to be appointed in the coming weeks by Banavar and President Michael Schill. According to the announcement, the administrators have “no preordained outcome in mind” for the college.
According to his CV, the Interim Dean appointee, Bruce Blonigen, has been at the UO since 1995. He has taught in the International Studies and Economics departments, both within CAS.
Blonigen has served as the Economics Department head and associate dean for social sciences in CAS. In 2016, he was selected as the interim dean for the Lundquist College of Business, until his most recent appointment as the CAS dean of faculty and operations.
Karen Ford will take over Blonigen’s current responsibilities as a senior divisional dean until a permanent dean is appointed. Ford currently serves as the Divisional Dean for Humanities in CAS and was the Interim Dean of the Clark Honors College in 2017.
The search for a long-term Dean for CAS will not begin until after the analysis of the college’s structure. According to Around the O, the interim dean appointment is for two years, indicating a potential timeline for the CAS analysis process and the hiring of a new dean.
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