Published: March 21, 2024

Irene Blair joins John-Michael Rivera and Sarah Jackson as the college’s deans of division

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that Irene Blair, professor and former chair of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Natural Sciences Divisional Council, has accepted the position of dean of natural sciences, effective March 25. She has held the position on an interim basis since August.

This marks an important milestone in the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences—that is, appointing permanent deans in the college’s three divisions—and fulfills recommendations made in the November 2018 report of the Provost’s Committee on Academic Reorganization to strengthen the authority of the divisions of natural sciences, social sciences and arts and humanities.

Blair joins John-Michael Rivera, dean of the division of arts and humanities, and Sarah Jackson, dean of the division of social sciences. The deans of division join College of Arts and Sciences Dean Glen Krutz in the council of deans, convened by the provost.

“During this time, I have been impressed with Irene’s leadership—how she effectively leads the division in advancing student success, increasing faculty and staff efficacy and strongly supporting research and teaching, and bringing our good work to the community,” Krutz says. “Also as interim dean, she has applied rigorous analysis as she has assessed the state of the division’s research, teaching and budget. I am sure she will only improve as an administrator, helping the division and college achieve even greater success.”

Blair joined the CU Boulder faculty in 1995 after earning an MS, MPhil and PhD in social psychology from Yale University. Her 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 has examined implicit racial and ethnic bias among healthcare clinicians and how those biases affect the delivery of care. She has also investigated the potential effects of discrimination on health in urban American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“There is still work to be done to complete the reorganization, but securing all three positions of leadership is significant,” Krutz says. “I look forward to having Irene continue to apply her considerable talents, skills and drive as she leads the division of natural sciences.”