Weinberg’s new dean, Adrian Randolph, to begin July 1

Mariana Alfaro, Assistant Campus Editor

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Adrian Randolph saw Northwestern as an opportunity he couldn’t refuse.

“Northwestern is one of the premiere institutions for learning in the world,” he told The Daily. “I’ve long admired Northwestern.”

NU selected Randolph in February to serve as dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He has been associate dean of the faculty for the arts and humanities at Dartmouth College since 2011. He joined Dartmouth’s art history department in 1995 and became the art history department chair in 2002.

Randolph, who will start July 1, said he looks forward to living in Evanston near Chicago, compared to rural New Hampshire, where Dartmouth is located.

What draws him to Weinberg, he said, is its commitment to the arts and sciences and how familiar it feels to him, as it reminds him of Dartmouth.

“I believe strongly in the teaching of arts and sciences as a really great way to educate,” he said.

He said one of the biggest differences, though, is how large NU is and the amount of professional and graduate schools it has in comparison to Dartmouth, a smaller research college.

“In terms of challenges … it’s probably going to be trying to figure out how to make Weinberg work really well with the other schools and within the broader umbrella of Northwestern,” he said.

As students continue to push for Weinberg to adopt a U.S.-centric Social Inequalities and Diversities requirement, Randolph said faculty should have control over the curriculum, but he will explore the proposal in more depth once he arrives on campus. The proposal asks the six undergraduate schools to include Social Inequalities and Diversities as a distribution requirement by Fall Quarter 2015.

“I don’t think it’s the role of the dean to sort of tell departments or even sort of frame the curriculum for the college,” he said. “I think that’s more of a joint, collective action.”

Provost Daniel Linzer, who made the final decision to hire Randolph after a 10-month search, said although they discussed the proposed diversity course requirement, the decision must be made within Weinberg.

“We talked about various aspects of diversity and inclusion. The conversation about the diversity requirement is within each school,” Linzer said. “So that would be more of a conversation that he would have with people in the dean’s office and department chairs.”

Randolph said diverse topics and issues should be included in the curriculum.

“It may be a question of credit or distribution requirement, it may also be a broader issue to do with the curriculum and I think that those things need to be discussed,” Randolph said. “I don’t think it’s my role to have a strong opinion one way or the other about this. I want to listen to my colleagues and try to figure out what the best way forward for Northwestern would be.”

Anna Rennich, former Associated Student Government vice president for academics, said students hope to see the requirement become part of the curriculum sometime in the next two years. However, nothing has been passed yet.

“We’ve had some really productive discussions with Weinberg already about this requirement,” the Weinberg senior said. “But we understand they can’t make a decision until the dean has evaluated (the situation).”

Linzer said Randolph’s global experience will improve Weinberg.

“One of the attractive features that we saw in Adrian as a candidate is his own global upbringing and his work on countries and art forms developed outside of the U.S.,” he said. “That broadens the perspective for his thinking that will be valuable as we have a more and more global university.”

Randolph’s research in art history focuses on gender and sexuality studies. He has written two books and has also served on the international advisory board of the journal Art History and the University Press of New England.

Randolph said he is excited to work with NU’s art history department but has no plans to teach courses. However, he hopes he’ll be able to collaborate with the art history department after his first year at NU.

“Certainly on the first year I’m going to wait and see to make sure that I can do the things I’ve been hired to do,” he said. “But I would love the opportunity to … (teach) some visiting lectures and be a part of the structure.”

Email: marianaalfaro2018@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @marianaa_alfaro