Brandeis University has named Dorothy L. Hodgson, an internationally renowned anthropologist and senior associate dean for academic affairs at Rutgers University’s School of Graduate Studies, as its new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University’s largest academic division. 

Hodgson will undertake her new role at Brandeis on Aug. 20, succeeding Susan J. Birren, professor of neurobiology, who is stepping down as arts and sciences dean on June 30. Birren, who became dean in 2011, will return to the Brandeis faculty to continue her research and teaching after a yearlong sabbatical.

As senior associate dean at Rutgers, Hodgson was part of the graduate school’s leadership team, which oversaw more than 150 research-based doctoral, master’s and dual-degree programs enrolling more than 5,200 graduate students working with 2,660 graduate faculty across eight schools. 

As dean at Brandeis’ College of Arts and Sciences, which includes 4,400 undergraduate and graduate students, and more than 430 faculty, Hodgson will oversee undergraduate admissions, the undergraduate and graduate curricula, faculty, staffing, the oversight of academic departments, and other academic matters, including the implementation of recently updated general education requirements.

“Dorothy Hodgson is a highly respected scholar and an adept academic leader who understands the issues involved in running a complex academic enterprise,” said Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz. “Her experience is well-suited to leading our largest academic unit. I have every confidence she will advance the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences, and help us think through the challenges facing the arts and sciences and innovative approaches to addressing them.

“I am so grateful to Susan Birren for the outstanding leadership she has provided as dean for the past seven years, and I look forward to her returning to our faculty and her lab after a well-deserved sabbatical,” Liebowitz added.

Hodgson is the past president of the African Studies Association and has previously served as chair and graduate director of Rutgers’ Department of Anthropology, director of Rutgers’ Institute for Research on Women and president of the Association for Feminist Anthropology. She is currently editor-in-chief of the “Oxford Research Encyclopedia on African Women’s History.”

Hodgson earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Virginia, and her master’s and PhD in anthropology at the University of Michigan.

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