A Professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature, I have also been an academic administrator for over 23 years, including 16 years as dean of three different colleges. My extensive experience in fundraising, recruitment of students, faculty, and staff, strategic planning, and budget management extends to all aspects of executive leadership.
The TW Lewis Dean, Lewis Honors College — The University of Kentucky (2017-present)
- Developed and built a brand-new Honors College upon the foundation of the University Honors Program.
- Lead all aspects of the College including faculty and student recruitment, philanthropic efforts, and strategic planning.
- Supervise and manage a budget of over $3.5M.
- Recruited and hired a faculty and staff of 32 full-time employees including 12 Lewis Lecturers, 5 academic advisors, and 5 personal counselors.
- Developed and integrated into the university curriculum and that of other academic colleges the 30-credit Honors College curriculum which culminates in an Honors Thesis.
- Developed a strong communications and recruitment programs to increase awareness of the Lewis Honors College and yield a diverse and academically talented student body equaling 10% of the incoming first-year class, resulting in over 2,200 Honors students at UK.
- Leading a capital campaign with a goal of $50 million; currently at $46 million.
Interim Dean, College of Arts & Sciences — The University of Kentucky (September 2020-June 2022)
- Appointed to manage the college through transition to the next dean. This required rebuilding trust in leadership and managing a $7.5M budget shortfall through open dialogue and transparent decision-making.
- Supervise and manage a budget of $81M.
- A college of 440 Faculty, 19 Departments, 29 Majors, 37 Minors, 980 graduate students and post-doctoral scholars, 6,400 undergraduate students, A&S is central to undergraduate and graduate education at UK, teaching 85% of general education credit hours and almost half of all undergraduate credit hours, and producing the most doctoral degrees at UK.
Dean, Schreyer Honors College — Penn State University (2006-16)
- Supervised a staff of 27 full-time employees, including an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (selected from tenured faculty in the University), admissions, academic affairs, student affairs, information technology, and development operations.
- Nearly 300 Honors Faculty representing all disciplines and colleges at Penn State. Their “tenure homes” were in their respective departments, but also had Honors commitments in terms of teaching, advising, and leadership.
- Over 2,100 students across all disciplines and colleges.
- Managed an operating budget of $2.2 million and oversaw the awarding of nearly $6.3 million in scholarships and grants annually.
- Led a capital campaign that resulted in nearly $80 million for enhancing honors education at Penn State.
- Transformed strategic communication and admissions resulting in increased brand awareness, a tripling of applications, and an increase in selectivity and yield (from 52% offer rate to 18%). The Schreyer Honors College has been ranked as a model and one of the premier honors colleges in the nation.
- Developed and implemented the Presidential Leadership Academy, a unique three-year program focused upon developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Made accessibility and engagement with students a priority through programs such as “Donuts with the Dean” and a three-day orientation program.
Director of the Honors Program — Tulane University (2004-06)
Associate Director of the Honors Program — Tulane University (2003-04)
Director of Jewish Studies — Tulane University (1998-2003)
Associate Director of Jewish Studies — Tulane University (1997-98)
Honors Community Service
In 2013 I co-founded the “Honors Education at Research Universities” (HERU) bi-annual international conference to “share best practices and build collaborations that will strengthen the case, and the place, for honors education at research universities.”
I am a founding member (2015-present) of the Lewis Honors College Advisory Board, University of Kentucky.
- Member, review of the Miami University (OH) Honors Program — 2007
- Chair, review of the Macaulay Honors College, CUNY — 2008
- Member, review of the Purdue University Honors Program — 2009
- Chair, review of the Hunter College CUNY Honors Program — 2012
- Chair, review of the University of Minnesota Honors Program — 2013
- Chair, review of the IUPUI Honors Program — 2015
- Chair, review of the University of Maryland Honors College — 2015
- Chair, review of the Tulane Honors Program – 2017
- Member, editorial board, peer-reviewed journal Honors in Higher Education — 2017-present
- Board of Trustees, University of the South (“Sewanee”) — 2003-05
- Member, Council of Academic Deans — 2006-16
- Member, Academic Leadership Council – 2006-16
- Member, Faculty Senate Committee for Undergraduate Education —2006-16
- Member, Freeh Implementation Committee — 2013-14
- Member, Commission for Adult Learners — 2015-16
- Member, Faculty Rights and Responsibility Committee — 2007-09, 2015-16
- Member, University Ethics Committee — 2014-16
- Member, Advisory Committee for Continued Excellence — 2012-16
- Member, selection committee for finalists, University Fellowship Office — 2006-16
- Member, University Brand Steering Committee — 2013
- Member, University Ethics Committee — 2014-16
- Member, University Strategic Planning “Transforming Education and Access” Task Force — 2014-2015
- Member, University Campaign Case Statement Committee — 2015-16
- Faculty Senator by Presidential Appointment — 2011-16
- Chair of search, assistant vice president and associate dean for Undergraduate Education — 2007
- Chair of search, dean, College of Information Sciences and Technology — 2009
- Chair, Penn State Forum, a university-wide monthly speakers series — 2011-12
- Chair, Penn State United Way Campaign — 2011-12
- Chair, Faculty Implementation Committee for Penn State’s Global Engagement Network partnership with Freiburg University, Germany — 2011-15
- Board of Trustees, University of the South (“Sewanee”) — 2021-Present