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Dean of Arts & Sciences Faculty Reappointed, Named Trinity College Dean
DURHAM, NC - George L. McLendon has been appointed to a second five-year term as dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences at Duke University, and also has been named dean of Trinity College, Provost Peter Lange announced Tuesday.
McLendon became dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences in July 2004. He came to Duke from Princeton University, where he was chair of the chemistry department and Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry.
"George's recent review strongly affirmed how much the faculty and his administrative colleagues respect and appreciate his many contributions to the university's constant improvement," said Lange, the university's top academic officer, in an email sent to faculty and others on Tuesday.
"His most significant accomplishments have come in the areas of strategic focus for A&S where, by identifying faculty interests and input, driving an intense effort to hire and retain the best scholars and teachers, and fostering innovative appointments across departments and schools, he has made it possible for Duke to attract excellent scholars from around the world. This has led to exciting new research and teaching programs for undergraduate and graduate students alike, and further strengthened Duke's commitment to providing a dynamic, challenging educational experience for all students."
Trinity College is Duke's liberal arts undergraduate college, and more than 80 percent of Duke undergraduates are enrolled in it. The remaining undergraduates are enrolled in the Pratt School of Engineering. Arts & Sciences is the Duke administrative unit that awards degrees in the liberal arts.
As dean of Trinity College, McLendon assumes some of the duties of Robert J. Thompson Jr., who after nine years as dean stepped down on June 30 to return to teaching.
The dual appointment has historical precedent at Duke. Ernestine Friedl was both dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences and dean of Trinity College from 1980 to 1985, as were Richard A. White (from 1985 to 1989) and William H. Chafe (from 1997 to 1999).
McLendon's appointment to the Trinity College post is the latest in a series of moves designed to enhance the undergraduate experience at Duke. In March 2007, Lange named biology professor and dean of the natural sciences Stephen Nowicki as the first dean of undergraduate education. Last month, McLendon chose Lee D. Baker, associate professor of cultural anthropology and African and African American studies, as Trinity College dean of academic affairs.
Lange said that McLendon, in his additional role as Trinity College dean, "will oversee the strategic integration of the undergraduate and graduate, and teaching and research, missions of Arts & Sciences. The president (Richard H. Brodhead) and I greatly look forward to working with George in his new term as we continue to build the faculty, recruit and educate the best students, and position A&S as the locus of innovation for the entire university."
McLendon said Nowicki's appointment "created a different landscape for the administration of undergraduate academic life. Dean Nowicki is positioned to better integrate the academic and social dimensions of the student experience. As a result, it makes sense that the guidance of matters pertaining to the undergraduate academic experience and the guidance of matters pertaining to faculty be in closer alignment. The alignment is best when one person has both responsibilities. The lines of communication are simplified."
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, McLendon is a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso (B.S., 1972) and Texas A&M University (Ph.D., 1976). He taught at the University of Rochester, where he chaired the chemistry department, before going to Princeton in 1995. He was a National Science Foundation Fellow, an A.P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow. He won the 1990 Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.
McLendon's research focuses on the interaction of large biological molecules, electron transfer in chemical and biological systems, and protein chemistry in such processes as apoptosis -- the disintegration and eventual death of cells. His research has direct implications for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, AIDS and other diseases. He founded Tetralogic Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company that works on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, and other biotech startups.
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