University names next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Ian Baucom of Duke to replace Meredith Woo


Ian Baucom (above) will join the University as dean of the College on July 1.

Ian Baucom has been selected to replace Meredith Woo as the Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University announced Wednesday.

Baucom has held positions in the English departments of Yale and Duke, and is currently the director of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke. He is also the current president of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes.

“Ian is an accomplished author and researcher, and an exceptional teacher who has been recognized multiple times for excellence in the classroom,” University President Teresa Sullivan said in an email to faculty this morning. “Colleagues speak highly of his ability to collaborate and to build interdisciplinary teams across the humanities and beyond.”

Sullivan said Baucom would help the College in a “period of transformation.”

“The University of Virginia is entering a period of tremendous opportunity, as we approach our bicentennial and prepare for our third century, with the Cornerstone Plan providing inspiration and guidance,” she said. “In this critical period in our history, the College exemplifies the enduring value of the liberal arts and sciences for our University and for all of higher education.”

Baucom, who has spent the last 17 years with Duke’s English department, will begin his term July 1. He is 47 years old.

“The job of dean of the College represents a rare opportunity to help shape the future of the liberal arts and sciences at one of America’s great institutions of higher education,” Baucom said in a University press release. “Success will demand a great deal of strategic planning, energy and extraordinary collaboration among University leadership, College faculty and the College Foundation, students and staff. I am thrilled and eager to get started.”

Baucom graduated with an undergraduate degree in political science from Wake Forest and earned two post-graduate degrees at Yale — a Master’s of Arts in African Studies and a Ph.D. in English.

“Ian Baucom will be a tremendous asset to the College and the University community,” Sullivan said in a statement. “The College stands on a solid foundation, poised for even greater accomplishments as the University approaches the start of its third century. Ian is a terrific fit to lead this continued progress.”

Click here to read our coverage of Baucom’s vision for the University.

Published April 30, 2014 in News

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