With the hiring of Dr. Susan Herbst, the new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, many changes are planned for the college’s undergraduates.
Herbst, whose main job as dean is to recruit new faculty, is working on achieving her main goal of “boosting scholarly profile.” Herbst is attempting to bring undergraduate students “the most cutting edge ideas from across the discipline.”
In order to do this, Herbst plans on hiring more faculty from “the very best places, with great training.” She and the current faculty have spent most of the fall 2003 semester lobbying and recruiting new faculty to come to Temple.
Although the recruiting is a tedious and unseen process, Herbst knows this work will be beneficial for Temple undergraduates. She says the influx of new faculty means bringing lots of new ideas to Temple and new opportunities for undergraduate students.
With these new ideas, Herbst hopes for the invention of new courses, including an black philosophy course with an emphasis on international studies. In addition to the international emphasis, six senior historians, ranging from the University of Georgia to Princeton University, are being recruited in order to strengthen the American History department.
The professors will bring new perspectives such as gay history, gender in American history and race and segregation in the South, in hopes of making Temple “the place to come for graduate or undergraduate students to study American History of the 19th and 20th century.”
“Temple has been the most warmest, most welcoming place” Herbst said. She said she has been involved with and is excited to see the effects of the changes that lay ahead. She even has plans to begin teaching a Political Science or Intellectual Heritage class in the near future.
A New York City native, Herbst graduated from Duke University, where she majored in Political Science. After Duke, she went right to graduate school at the University of Southern California where she enrolled in their graduate institute, the Annenberg School of Communication. She focused her attention on politics, media, and public opinion and was hired in 1989 by Northwestern University as a professor of Political Science and Communications.
Herbst spent the next 15 years at Northwestern where she was promoted to the head of the Political Science Department and would eventually be given the title of Associate Dean. While at Northwestern, she developed her love for working and interacting with undergraduate students and claims that the hardest part of being a Dean at Temple is “the lack of undergraduate experience and interaction.”
Although she enjoyed her stay at Northwestern, Herbst longed for a return back to the East Coast. In October 2002, Temple informed her she would
be hired to fill the vacant position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
“The main reason I wanted to come was because of the President, the Provost, and the new leadership are so ambitious in making Temple an excellent research university. I wanted to be on the ground floor in helping achieve this [goal],” Herbst said.
Bob Hollawell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.