Chris Poulsen from Michigan to be new CAS dean

The nice thing about an external dean hire is they can negotiate new lines and money as part of their start-up. If anyone knows what he was promised for CAS, please put it in the comments.

Dear University of Oregon colleagues,
It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Christopher J. Poulsen will join the University of Oregon as our next dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences (CAS).
Chris currently serves as Associate Dean for Natural Sciences in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, where he oversees fourteen natural science units. As the Henry Pollack Collegiate Professor for Earth and Environmental Sciences and Climate and Space Sciences, he also leads a research group investigating how and why climate has changed and the implications for future climate change using state-of-the-art climate models. Chris teaches courses on topics of climate and environmental change and was a recipient of the University of Michigan’s John Dewey Award for excellence in teaching.
He holds a PhD in geosciences from Pennsylvania State University and a BA in geology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
The search committee and I were struck by Chris’s experience as a leader in a college of similar size and complexity to CAS who also has the academic credentials and interests that align so well with UO priorities and initiatives. I am also pleased to be bringing someone to UO with demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Chris has contributed to the development of innovative programs at the college and department levels to recruit, mentor, and retain underrepresented students, staff, and faculty, including a program to bring underrepresented graduate students to campus to demystify graduate school and recruit students to the department, a program that has been emulated across the natural sciences division.
Chris will begin his new role on September 1.
I want to thank the search committee, cochaired by Juan-Carlos Molleda, dean of the School of Journalism and Communication, and Elliot Berkman, professor of psychology, for their commitment to this important search. And I remain immensely grateful to Bruce Blonigen for holding the reins as CAS dean since 2018.
Please join me in welcoming Chris to the UO. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].
Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

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13 Responses to Chris Poulsen from Michigan to be new CAS dean

  1. Dog says:

    This is a potentially interesting hire and well out side the hiring profile of recent CAS deans. Poulsen is a very good scientist (maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad) with serious academic chops. He also has a good record of real interdisciplinary work
    so that should be helpful.

    Michigan is one of my former faculty homes – the phrase from
    the Provost’s letter college of similar size and complexity to CAS is laughable. The equivalent of CAS at Michigan (LSA)
    is far more complex and has far more of a graduate student population to also manage, than there at UO.

  2. Old Nag says:

    I can already guess what this crowd will say to me. But I feel yadda, yadda, yadda…another white guy who doesn’t realize how privilege works and won’t really understand minority or female faculty…

    • Just Old says:

      You’d rather they’d promoted Carol Stabile?

      • vhils says:

        I think that’s what you call a ‘false binary’.

        Besides with the number of investigations I hear CS is facing, I don’t think that ever was really an option…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kinda bummed with this selection.

    Of the three finalists, Chris was my last pick. I don’t feel inspired by him in the way I was by the other two.

    I wonder what criteria was used, and whether it was a unanimous consensus among the people deciding.

    I also wonder how Chris is feeling about Michigan. That university has had some rough times in the last year or two. How excited vs burned out is he now?

  4. anonymous says:

    Not even remotely surprising. But, I think this is just sad. I still have an exclusively white male reporting line…all the way to the president. I won’t argue with assertions that “Poulsen is a very good scientist…with serious academic chops.” But, that’s not what a CAS Dean does day-in-and-day-out. With this hire we perpetuate: white, male, natural science.
    This is all getting so old.

    • Dog says:

      the last many CAS deans have NOT been of natural science. Most
      all come from Social Science (econ,sociology,geography)

      • cdsinclair says:

        I’m not sure it’s all that relevant. Deans are dean of the entire college, and white men in the natural sciences (in my experience) tend to think the system is working because it worked for them. I hope this dean isn’t one of those, but an all white male CAS leadership (and white male provost and president) is an embarrassment and maybe, just maybe, part of the climate issues we have around here.

        • just different says:

          I’d go a little further and say that the non-white-men that they bring in tend to also believe that the system is working because it worked for them. UO Nat Sci has done a remarkable job in achieving a level of functional diversity/inclusion that’s even lower than the miserable apparent level.

    • Slowly Boiled IT Duck says:

      Whenever anyone speaks of skin color as a measure of virtue, I immediately think of that line from Caddyshack:

      Judge Smails: [H]ow do you measure yourself with other golfers?

      Ty Webb: By height.

  5. anon and on and on says:

    Oh look, a NatSci divisional dean from an imbalanced unit of unusual size at a university we can’t even dream of ever being. And he just happens to be yet another white guy, huh, what are the chances. Just from the standpoint of disciplines, expect the Humanities and Social Sciences to get shafted even harder. Blonigen was bad enough but this is a deliberate mandate to continue gutting the humanistic research and teaching missions of the UO. That seems fine by our bull-in-a-china-shop Provost, which I bet is why they settled on this choice. He’ll be out within five years for a bigger paycheck, leaving wreckage strewn in his wake.