Weinberg dean search ends

Nathalie Tadena

Sarah Mangelsdorf, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will take over next year as dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, university officials announced.

Mangelsdorf will begin working at Northwestern in August, succeeding interim dean Aldon Morris, Provost Daniel Linzer said.

Her selection completes a nationwide search for candidates to replace Linzer, who was dean of Weinberg from 2002 until becoming provost in 2007.

“Sarah comes to this position as someone with great experience as dean of a large institution,” he said.

“Illinois has more departments and more students than NU, and she has been able to manage that, especially with the resource constraints that affect state-funded schools. She has the experience and the advantage of resources at NU to put them to good use.”

Mangelsdorf became the first female dean of Illinois’ largest school in 2004. She formerly worked as the university’s associate provost and head of its psychology department.

During her time at Illinois, Mangelsdorf said she diversified the faculty and doubled the amount of private donations. She added that she plans to continue this work at NU.

“My first step is to get to know Weinberg College,” she said. “There’s often the mistake when an outsider comes and tries to change it from the inside but doesn’t necessarily understand the institution. I want to know each of the departments, meet the faculty and students of NU and Weinberg before I can launch any big ideas.”

Mangelsdorf’s term will begin August 16. Morris, a professor of African American Studies, was appointed the interim dean of Weinberg last September.

Search committee members considered candidates from within and outside NU for the post, Weinberg associate dean for faculty affairs Jock McLane said in April.

With more than 4,000 students and 500 faculty members, Weinberg serves as the “intellectual crossroads” of the university, Linzer said.

“The dean has to be someone who can play well in the sandbox and work well together with other schools,” he said. “The dean has to understand the impact the college has on the university.”

Mangelsdorf has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Minnesota and completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Oberlin College. She began teaching at the University of Illinois in 1992. She will be visiting NU throughout the summer to prepare for her new position.

“NU has always been a great school, but the trajectory over the last 10 years keeps going up and up,” she said. “It’s a very exciting time for me to come to NU.”

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