UNH Announces New Liberal Arts Dean

Dr. Heidi Bostic

Heidi Bostic will assume leadership of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of New Hampshire on June 27, 2016, following the retirement of Dean Kenneth Fuld, who has served in that role, with distinction, for many years. Bostic is currently the inaugural director of interdisciplinary programs for the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University and chair of its department of modern languages and cultures.

“Heidi is a very talented scholar and leader, and has great experience fostering relationships between the humanities and the STEM disciplines,” said P.T. Vasudevan, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her no-nonsense approach and leadership experience will serve the college and the university well and help us to develop the strategic partnerships we need to expand career opportunities for students, and to enhance the college’s teaching and research portfolios. I am delighted that she has accepted our offer to be the next dean and will be working to advance the full mission of both the college and the university in serving the needs of the state.”

Bostic will begin her role this summer after more than six years at Baylor University where she is a professor of French. Prior to that she was at Michigan Technological University where she served as interim chair of the department of humanities, Concordia College in Minnesota and Minnesota State University. Earlier this year she was awarded the higher education administrator of the year award from the Texas Foreign Language Association, and was recently appointed to a three-year term on the Modern Language Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession.

As director of interdisciplinary programs at Baylor, Bostic chaired the organizing committee for the university’s first two symposiums on STEM and the humanities. She has worked collaboratively with colleagues to identify a vision statement and long-term goals for the role. As chair of the department of modern languages and cultures, she leads the largest academic department at Baylor with 80 faculty members serving 3,500 students a semester. Since 2009 she secured significant gifts for student study abroad scholarships, facilitated development of the department’s first-ever mission statement and strategic plan, led efforts to create a new major in Arabic and Middle East Studies, and grew the department by five faculty members.

“It will be an honor and a great privilege to serve as dean of the College of Liberal Arts,” said Bostic. “The college boasts outstanding faculty, staff, and students as well as innovative programs. The research enterprise is impressive, even more so combined with the excellence in teaching and community engagement that is a hallmark of liberal arts. I believe in the mission of UNH—that is, a public land-grant, sea-, and space-grant institution—and the absolutely central role of the liberal arts in fulfilling that mission. The college is especially well equipped to work across disciplines to address the grand challenges of today and tomorrow. Underlying all grand challenges are questions that are basic to liberal arts fields, namely: what does it mean to be human, and how can we live well together? Education, the fine and performing arts, humanities, and the social and behavioral sciences all have a significant role to play in answering these questions. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to foster continued excellence in the college.”

Vasudevan thanked the search committee, led by Peggy Vagts, professor of music, and Jon Wraith, dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, for its work to bring Bostic to campus.

The College of Liberal Arts is the largest of the five colleges on the Durham campus of the University of New Hampshire, serving 4,000 undergraduate students in 39 majors and 600 graduate students in six Ph.D. and 25 master’s programs. The college has 215 tenured and tenure track faculty and 125 full-time non-tenure track faculty across 15 departments and 20 interdisciplinary programs, in four divisions: humanities, social and behavioral sciences, education, and the fine and performing arts. The college also includes six research centers, which provide support for both individual scholars and multidisciplinary teams.

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