Published: July 28, 2023

Hirings mark significant milestone in the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences, an initiative launched by the provost

In a significant milestone in the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dean Glen Krutz has appointed two deans of division and one interim dean of division and has relaunched the search for the third. The deans of division join Krutz in the council of deans, convened by the provost.

The strengthening of the three divisions’ authority in the college fulfills recommendations made in the November 2018 report of the Provost’s Committee on Academic Reorganization.

The newly appointed deans of division are:

  • John-Michael Rivera, dean of the division of arts and humanities
  • Sarah Jackson, dean of the division of social sciences

The new interim dean is:

  • Irene Blair, interim dean of the division of natural sciences

Rivera, Jackson and Blair

John-Michael Rivera, Sarah Jackson and Irene Blair (left to right).

Rivera has served with distinction in recent years as transitional dean for the division. He is a professor of English and humanities and the former director for the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado Boulder. Rivera began his new role May 1.

His first book, The Emergence of Mexican America, won the Thomas J. Lyon Best Book Award. His second book, UNDOCUMENTS, won the Kayden Award and Pope Award. He has edited, introduced and translated two books for the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project and has published widely in scholarship, essays, memoir, creative nonfiction and poetry. He was the curator of El Laboratorio, a literary space for Latinx writers, and co-creator of CrossBorders, an international collective of writers and artists engaging borders. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jackson, divisional dean for social sciences at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Arts and Sciences, will become the dean of division of social sciences here beginning on Aug. 1.

Jackson, who is a professor in the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Anthropology and has served as that department’s head, holds a PhD, MA and BA in anthropology from Harvard University. As divisional dean for social sciences at Cincinnati, she has shown a commitment to leading interdisciplinary initiatives that resulted in the formation of new schools and worked to apply existing administrative processes to the new schools. 

Blair's research focus is stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination, and she works with several multidisciplinary groups to examine disparities in health care and health outcomes, funded most frequently by the National Institutes of Health. She begins work in this new position Aug. 1. 

Blair has examined implicit racial and ethnic bias among healthcare clinicians and how those biases affect the delivery of care. She has also examined the potential effects of discrimination on health in urban American Indians and Alaska Natives. 

Blair joined the CU Boulder faculty in 1995 after earning an MS, MPhil and PhD in social psychology from Yale University. 

Krutz has relaunched the search for the dean of the division of natural sciences, because the previous search did not result in a hire. Krutz will share more details about the search process within a few weeks. 

“I’d like to thank Dean Krutz for his hard work and thoughtful leadership in organizing appropriate searches and carrying out these key appointments,” said Provost Russell Moore. “I’d also like to welcome our two new deans of division and our interim dean welcoming the third to the College of Arts and Sciences and to the council of deans.”

Read more: Academic reorganization committee issues report, Nov. 12, 2018 | Provost Committee on Academic Reorganization

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