Thomas DiPiero named dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

June 10, 2014

Thomas DiPieroThomas DiPiero, dean for humanities and interdisciplinary studies in AS&E, has accepted a position as dean of the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and professor in the Departments of English and World Languages and Literatures at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. He will leave the University of Rochester in August, which he has called home for close to three decades.

“While we are sad to see him leave, this is an exciting new opportunity for Tom,” said Peter Lennie, dean of the faculty of AS&E. “Tom has worked tirelessly and very effectively to enlarge opportunities for collaboration between the arts and the sciences and engineering, and to place Rochester at the forefront of new fields like digital media studies. I have no doubt he will bring the same transformative energy to his new role at SMU.”

Named Rochester’s first dean of humanities in 2011, DiPiero helped develop new initiatives in digital media studies and curricular activities for Rettner Hall, the University’s multi-million dollar digital media arts and innovation center. In 2013, he helped the University secure a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a training program for graduate students in the digital humanities.

“Over time, Tom’s role expanded substantially beyond his original position, to include establishing partnerships and joint master’s degree programs with the George Eastman House, developing new undergraduate majors in East Asian Studies, and even expanding Rochester’s summer programs,” said Joanna Olmsted, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “His work has advanced both research and teaching throughout the University.”

A member of the college faculty since 1987, DiPiero was named senior associate dean of the humanities in 2007. A scholar of French literature and French cultural studies, he is the recipient of the College’s 2004 Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Teaching, and was chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures from 1998 to 2004.

DiPiero is the author of White Men Aren’t (Duke, 2002), Dangerous Truths and Criminal Passions: The Evolution of the French Novel 1569-1791 (Stanford, 1992) and is currently working on a book about early modern European fiction’s relationship to philosophy and the human body. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, master’s degrees from Ohio State and Cornell universities, and his PhD in Romance studies from Cornell.

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