Amanda Woodward Appointed Deputy Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences

Announcement Type: 
Dean of Students

Dean Nirenberg's message regarding Amanda Woodward's appointment:

I am pleased to announce that Amanda Woodward, the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology, has been appointed Deputy Dean of Faculty Affairs for the Division of the Social Sciences for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2015. Amanda is the Chair of the Department of Psychology, Director of the Infant Learning and Development Laboratory, and President of the Cognitive Development Society. Earlier this year, she was elected to the 2014 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Faculty governance has always been a hallmark of this University and of the Division of the Social Sciences. Ours is a very diverse and very energetic division, bursting with ideas for new research initiatives, centers, and graduate programs across a range of fields and methodologies, from the most hermeneutic to the intensely mathematical, from ancient archives to animal laboratories.  My sense after almost a year as Dean is that a greater diversity of faculty voices in the Office of the Dean would simultaneously strengthen faculty governance, and provide more strategic support to the many major initiatives emerging from the Division at this time. 

I can think of no better person to carry out both those roles than Amanda Woodward, whose sensitive and intelligent leadership has been so important on initiatives as diverse as neuro-psychology and free speech, and who is herself such an exemplary researcher, teacher, colleague, and department chair.  In her new role as Deputy Dean, Amanda will support me, as Dean, in various facets of faculty recruitment, retention, research, and academic support.  These include facilitating the emergence of new research initiatives, programs and centers; supporting diversity initiatives within the Division; supporting the review process for departments and programs; and coordinating development of the Division’s multiple graduate programs. 

Amanda originally joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1993, spent five years at the University of Maryland, and returned “home” in 2010. Her award-winning research includes investigations in infant cognition, social cognitive development, imitation, and theory of mind. Amanda has been chair of the Department of Psychology since 2013, during which time she has overseen the ambitious selection and recruitment of five leading faculty members. The process of identifying her successor as Chair will begin immediately.

Please join me in congratulating Amanda and welcoming her to her new role in the Dean’s Office of the Division of the Social Sciences.

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