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New director for Stanford Humanities Center sought

STANFORD -- A search has been opened to find the next director of the Stanford Humanities Center, and an appointment may be announced as soon as the end of the fall quarter, according to search committee chairman George Dekker, associate dean of graduate policy and professor of English.

The three-year term of the current director, Wanda Corn, professor of art, expires at the end of the 1994-95 academic year. Dekker said he would like to see a successor named as early as possible to ensure a smooth transition at the center.

"We're deliberately starting this search somewhat early," he said, "so that the person appointed can have a period in which to become familiar with the center and the processes it uses in naming fellows."

Dekker said he will solicit nominations through a letter to be sent to all faculty in the humanities departments.

Dekker requests nominations by Friday, Oct. 14. They can be sent to him via electronic mail (cr.ggd@forsythe) or through interdepartmental mail (mail code 2065). Only current Stanford faculty members are eligible for the position.

The Stanford Humanities Center was established in 1980 to "promote humanistic research and education at Stanford and nationally." It provides scholars with two highly valued commodities: unstructured time and the company of a diverse group of intellectual peers.

Each year, six to seven members of the Stanford faculty, along with about 10 Stanford graduate students, are selected as fellows of the center. They join six external fellows from other colleges and universities.

Directors hold the title of Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities during their tenure. Previous directors include Ian Watt, professor emeritus of English; Bliss Carnochan, professor emeritus of English; and Herbert Lindenberger, English.

Dekker said the previous directors had built the Stanford Humanities Center into "one of the most successful enterprises of this kind in the nation," and that the new director will be able to keep the program strong in an era of increasingly tight budgets.

Of the center directors, Dekker said, "Aside from all being humanists, they are, of course, very different people, very different scholars - but they have a certain thing in common. They possess an intellectual range and an openness to a wide variety of theoretical and political perspectives."

Dekker said he hopes the next director also will share a few other traits with his or her predecessors.

"They all have a remarkable talent for working with other people," he said. "And, they've been willing and able to meet with and work with donors, potential donors and other friends of the Humanities Center."

Other faculty members on the search committee are Karol Berger, music; Judith Brown, history; Arnold Eisen, religious studies; Thomas Hare, Asian languages; and Andrea Nightingale, classics. Carol Vonder-Linden, assistant dean of research, will staff the committee, which may be expanded to include a postdoctoral fellow. Dekker will forward the committee's recommendations to Charles Kruger, dean of research and graduate policy, who will make the final selection.



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