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Poiger appointed interim CSSH dean

Uta G. Poiger, pro­fessor and chair of the his­tory depart­ment, has been appointed as interim dean of the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties.

Stephen W. Director, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs, made the announce­ment after informing the uni­ver­sity that Georges Van Den Abbeele is step­ping down as dean of CSSH to take a posi­tion at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­fornia, Irvine.

Poiger, a scholar of modern his­tory with a par­tic­ular focus on 20th-​​century German cul­ture and society, joined North­eastern in July 2011. Her schol­ar­ship also focuses on global debates over “Amer­i­can­iza­tion” processes, racial for­ma­tions and the his­tory of women and gender.

“In my role as interim dean, I look for­ward to working with col­leagues and Northeastern’s lead­er­ship in building the con­sid­er­able strengths of the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties, a col­lege whose work is cen­tral to the lib­eral arts edu­ca­tion of all North­eastern stu­dents,” Poiger said. “I also look for­ward to fos­tering the exciting ini­tia­tives in which the col­lege is a key force, from work in the dig­ital human­i­ties and com­pu­ta­tional social sci­ences, to sus­tain­ability and urban affairs, to inter­na­tional affairs and global jus­tice, to secu­rity studies.”

Since joining CSSH, Poiger has worked to advance depart­mental and col­lege ini­tia­tives, including co-​​chairing the college’s Cur­riculum Com­mittee and working on the Dig­ital Human­i­ties and Com­pu­ta­tional Social Sci­ences ini­tia­tive as well as its gov­er­nance reform. She has also served on the CSSH Resources and Grad­uate Funding Com­mit­tees, the Human­i­ties Center Board and the Provost’s Tenure and Pro­mo­tion Advi­sory Committee.

“Dr. Poiger is well posi­tioned to main­tain the college’s momentum during this impor­tant tran­si­tion,” Director said in a memo released on Wednesday. He noted that the uni­ver­sity would launch a search on a national and inter­na­tional scale for a new dean.

Van Den Abbeele joined North­eastern as part of the cre­ation of the university’s three new col­leges in 2010. As founding dean of CSSH, his lead­er­ship has been instru­mental in building on the university’s existing strengths in the social sci­ences and humanities.

During the past two years the col­lege has recruited accom­plished aca­d­e­mics, including new depart­ment chairs for His­tory and Polit­ical Sci­ence and new direc­tors of the pro­grams in Inter­na­tional Affairs and Women’s, Gender and Sex­u­ality Studies. The quality of stu­dents in the col­lege has also been rising—the mean SAT score of entering stu­dents increased from 1325 in fall 2010 to 1375 in fall 2012. And since 2010, the col­lege has recruited 20 new out­standing fac­ulty, including clus­ters of inter­dis­ci­pli­nary scholars in the areas of urban sus­tain­ability and envi­ron­mental health. Van Den Abbeele has also pro­moted new areas of excel­lence in cutting-​​edge fields, such as com­pu­ta­tional social sci­ences and dig­ital humanities.

“The Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties has achieved a great deal of momentum since its founding and we must con­tinue this momentum during the tran­si­tion period,” Director said.

Poiger came to North­eastern from the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ington, where she was a pro­fessor of his­tory and holder of the Gio­vanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Pro­fes­sor­ship in His­tory. At her former insti­tu­tion, she has also served as director of the Insti­tute for Transna­tional Studies in the Jackson School of Inter­na­tional Studies and of the His­tory department’s grad­uate programs.

She earned her doc­torate in His­tory from Brown Uni­ver­sity and received a master’s degree in Amer­ican His­tory from the Uni­ver­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts at Amherst. She holds a bachelor’s degree in His­tory and German Lit­er­a­ture from Albert-​​Ludwigs-​​Universität in Freiburg, Ger­many. She has held vis­iting appoint­ments in His­tory, His­tory and Lit­er­a­ture, as well as at the Minda da Gun­zburg Center for Euro­pean Studies at Har­vard University.

Poiger’s appoint­ment is effec­tive Nov. 15, 2012. Van Den Abbeele will remain on the fac­ulty until Dec. 31, 2012.

– by Northeastern News

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