Rosemary Stevens, the five-year chairperson of the department of history and sociology of science, was named dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold the position, and the sixth permanent dean in the history of the 17-year-old school. Stevens replaces interim SAS Dean Walter Wales who took over June 1 after Hugo Sonnenschein departed to become provost of Princeton University. "I am very humbled by [the appointment.] There's a lot to do," Stevens said this week. "I think it takes the first year to get adequately educated in the position, because what deans do is listen to lots of different constituencies. Out of this will come of a set of priorities." University officials and students were united in their praise of Stevens, who will be officially installed as new dean September 1. "Rosemary Stevens is distinguished not only for her breadth of knowledge ranging from the history and sociology of medicine to contemporary healthcare, but also for her commitment to students and teaching," said President Sheldon Hackney in a statement. "I am delighted that such a strong and effective leader will head the School at a time when momentum and spirit of cooperative research is high." Chairperson of the search committee, Lawrence Bernstein, said the group looked for a candidate who had "great intellectual breadth" and was "a skilled administrator." The music profesor said the committee was "unanimous" in its support of Stevens. "Professor Stevens is an internationally renowned scholar and one of the prime architects of the field in which she works," he said. "She will be a wonderful dean." Stevens came to the University in 1979 as a professor of history and sociology of science, and has twice held the chair of the department. She has also served as the chairperson of Tulane University's department of health systems mangament from 1976 until 1979. After taking her Bachelor's Degree from Oxford University in English Language and Literature in 1957, Stevens earned a Master of Public Health degree from Yale University in 1963 in hospital adminstration. In 1968, she received her Ph.D also from Yale in the field of epidemiology. Remaining at the Connecticut school, Stevens held various professorships before being named a full professor of public health in 1974, a position she held until 1976. "We couldn't ask for a better dean," said H & SS graduate student Elizabeth Hunt. "I feel a little sorry for the department, but I feel very happy for arts and sciences." Hunt also praised the administration for their selection, calling the move, "a very good sign." "It does look as though they're trying to put women in high-level positions," she said.Comments powered by Disqus
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