Willamette University Appoints Dean Of College Of Liberal Arts

Tori Haring-SmithWillamette University today announced that it had appointed Dr. Tori Haring-Smith as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Haring-Smith comes to Willamette after a two-year term as executive directorof the Thomas J. Watson Foundation and a distinguished teaching career, including 16 years at Brown University.

"The appointment of Dr. Haring-Smith is significant to Willamette as we continue to enrich our standing as an institution devoted to the highest levels of academic excellence," said M. Lee Pelton, Willamette's president. "She brings to us a wealth of experience as both a teacher and administrator, as well as an international reputation as a scholar of the highest caliber."

As executive director of the Watson Foundation, Dr. Haring-Smith was responsible for coordinating the selection of 60 Watson Fellows each year. This prestigious national fellowship identifies future leaders and gives them an opportunity to travel and pursue their own research for one year following college graduation. Former Watson fellows include CEO's of international corporations, best-selling authors, ambassadors, Broadway producers and college presidents.

Dr. Ellen Eisenberg, chair of Willamette's Department of History and vice chair of the dean's search committee said, "Beyond her obvious professional qualifications, we were impressed with how Dr. Haring-Smith interacted with both students and faculty members. She is clearly a leader and should inspire us all."

Prior to her term at the Watson Foundation, Dr. Haring-Smith served as chair of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at American University in Cairo, Egypt, and as artistic director of the Wallace Theatre there. At Brown University, she taught in the departments of theatre and English and was the founder and director of the Rose Writing Fellows Program.

"The opportunity to be a part of such a vibrant academic community is tremendously compelling to me," said Dr. Haring-Smith. "I look forward to working closely with faculty, students and staff to enhance the reputation Willamette enjoys as one of the nation's premiere liberal arts institutions." Dr. Pelton noted that Dr. Haring-Smith will fill the position created by the death of Dr. Lawrence Cress, who served the College of Liberal Arts as dean from 1994 to 2000. Dr. Kenneth Nolley, professor of English, will continue to serve as interim dean until July 16, 2001, when Dr. Haring-Smith will assume her responsibilities.