Blackshear to Lead Academic Affairs for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

John Blackshear, a member of the senior Trinity leadership team, will become interim dean for academic affairs.
John Blackshear, a member of the senior Trinity leadership team, will become interim dean for academic affairs.

John Blackshear, senior associate dean for academic planning at the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, will take on a new role this summer as interim dean for academic affairs at the college, effective July 1.

As interim dean, Blackshear will oversee administration of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences undergraduate curriculum and educational experiences, as well as instructional programs including the Academic Deans, the Thompson Writing Program, the Office of Continuing Studies, the Office of Undergraduate Research Support and the Office of Assessment.

Blackshear succeeds Arlie Petters in this role, who has led academic affairs for Trinity since 2016. Petters will take a year of leave, during which he intends to work on a monograph about how black holes act on light as well as a science fiction novel. He will return in 2020 to his primary appointments as a professor in mathematics and physics.

Blackshear joined the Trinity senior leadership team this January, providing oversight to academic planning, programmatic development and institutional proposal development. He is an adjunct instructor of psychology and neuroscience and also serves as assistant vice provost of undergraduate education, focusing on programming for Duke LIFE (Low-Income and First-Generation Engagement).

Blackshear is an academic adviser to undeclared students and psychology majors, as well as faculty-in-residence in Trinity House on East Campus. Previously, he served as an academic dean, director for Duke SPIRE Fellows, clinical director at the Academic Resource Center, Duke University Student Ombudsman, and psychologist for Duke’s Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS).

“John’s extensive and varied experience at Duke has uniquely prepared him to occupy this vital position on my team during a time of transition,” said Valerie Ashby, dean of Trinity College. “He brings a passion to this work and an awareness of what it means to care for the whole student that will help ensure each Duke undergraduate has a positive and transformational experience.”

Blackshear holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in psychology from Florida A&M University. He completed his doctorate in clinical psychology from Georgia State University and is currently licensed to practice in the state of North Carolina.