Distributed October 24, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel

Paul Armstrong named dean of the College at Brown University

Paul B. Armstrong, currently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY–Stony Brook, has been named dean of the College at Brown University.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Paul B. Armstrong, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY–Stony Brook, has been named dean of the College at Brown University, succeeding Nancy Dunbar. Dunbar, who agreed to a two-year term as dean in the fall of 1998, will continue to serve in the senior academic administration as associate provost. Armstrong and Dunbar will begin their new duties Jan. 1, 2001.

ArmstrongThe dean of the College is Brown’s highest undergraduate academic officer, whose responsibilities include the curriculum, academic advising, international programs, and instruction. In addition to his administrative duties, Armstrong will have a faculty appointment as professor of English.

“Paul Armstrong presents a very strong set of credentials and will be an excellent and creative dean of the College at Brown,” said Provost Kathryn T. Spoehr. “He is both a seasoned administrator and a productive scholar who has continued to pursue his academic interests as a senior dean. I look forward to his arrival in Providence.”

Armstrong, an authority on Henry James, Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster and other modern writers, is a history and literature graduate of Harvard College (A.B., summa cum laude, 1971) with advanced degrees in modern thought and literature from Stanford University (A.M., 1974; Ph.D, 1977). He began his academic career as director of undergraduate studies in the English department at the University of Virginia and then as chair of the literature and science program at Georgia Tech (1983-86).

In 1986 Armstrong moved to the University of Oregon as head of the English department, becoming associate dean for humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1994. While at Oregon, he was elected to the executive committee of the Association of Departments of English of the Modern Language Association. He represented the MLA in national discussions about curricular issues from elementary grades through graduate school and chaired a special committee which drafted a “Statement of Good Practice” on the relation between scholarship and teaching.

Armstrong has been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at SUNY–Stony Brook since July 1996, responsible for 30 departments and programs involving 435 faculty and a budget of $51 million. His primary mandate has been to build a first-rate “student-centered research university.”

Brown began its search for a new dean of the College in December 1999. The search committee reviewed materials from 45 applicants and chose six for interview. Committee members included Carl Kaestle, professor of education (chair); Lina Fruzzetti, professor of anthropology; Dore Levy, professor of comparative literature; Katherine Lewis, director of institutional research; Joseph Pucci, associate professor of classics; James Valles, associate professor of physics; Jonathan Waage, professor of biology; Matthew Zimmt, professor of chemistry; and undergraduate students Nigel Cordeiro and Neal Parikh.

“I would like to commend the committee members and chair for their work,” Spoehr said. “And on behalf of the University community, I wish to thank Nancy Dunbar for her thoughtful and effective leadership as dean of the College. I am delighted that she will continue her work as a colleague in the senior administration.”