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December 6, 2006

Richard Saller to head School of Humanities and Sciences

University of Chicago Provost Richard P. Saller will be the next dean of Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S), President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy announced today.

Saller will succeed Sharon Long, who announced earlier this year she would return to teaching after completing her term as dean. His appointment is effective April 1, 2007.

"Richard Saller has displayed both exceptional talent as provost and astute intelligence as a scholar of the humanities at the University of Chicago," Hennessy said. "He comes to Stanford at a time of particular significance for H&S and the entire university, given the critical role of the humanities and sciences in everything the university does. We are extraordinarily pleased that he will join us in these efforts."

Etchemendy called Saller "one of the most respected leaders in higher education."

"At Chicago, he was a renowned dean of the Social Sciences, and is a visionary and beloved provost," Etchemendy said. "Stanford is honored that he has agreed to lead Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences, our university's heart and soul."

Saller said he looked forward to the challenges of the new job.

"The opportunity to work with Stanford's faculty and administration to lead the world in research and teaching in the 21st century is irresistible," he said.

Members of the search committee were "enormously impressed" with Saller's thoughtfulness and the experience he gained as provost at the University of Chicago, according to the committee co-chair Robert Simoni.

"His experience at Chicago so closely parallels the committee's view of the needs of the school that he was the committee's clear recommendation and will provide the leadership the school needs going forward," said Simoni, the Donald Kennedy Chair in the School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor of biological sciences. "The committee considered several superb internal candidates but none matched Richard's leadership experience and success. We will have a wonderful new colleague."

Carolyn Lougee Chappell, who also served on the committee, said Saller understands both how to define institutional aspirations and how to bring faculty initiatives to fruition in first-rate programs.

"H&S is going to have magnificent opportunities in the coming years to enhance its programs and renew its faculty," said Lougee Chappell, the Frances and Charles Field Professor in History. "I am confident that Richard is the person who can not only manage this extraordinarily complex school but also engage the faculty broadly in serious discussion of our best paths to new levels of excellence."

Saller is the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of History and Classics at the University of Chicago. His research has concentrated on Roman social and economic history, in particular patronage relations and the family. He is interested in the use of literary, legal and epigraphic materials to investigate issues of social hierarchy and gender distinctions. He has taught there since 1984 and became dean of the Social Sciences Division in 1994 and provost in 2002. Prior to his tenure at Chicago, he was an assistant professor at Swarthmore College. He has held visiting professorships and fellowships at the University of California-Berkeley and Jesus College, Cambridge.

He is the author of several books, including Patriarchy, Property and Death in the Roman Family and Personal Patronage Under the Early Empire.

The School of Humanities and Sciences awards nearly 80 percent of the undergraduate degrees and more than 40 percent of doctoral degrees at Stanford. The school combines undergraduate education, graduate education and training, and research led by faculty of international renown who are pioneers on the intellectual frontier. The school has more than 500 faculty members, 28 departments and 19 interdisciplinary degree programs, along with a number of non-degree-granting programs and 20 research centers and teaching resources. Seventeen of the school's departments are regarded as being in the top 10 in their field in the nation.



Alan Acosta, University Communications: (650) 725-8396,


Robert Simoni, Department of Biological Sciences: (650) 725-4817,

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