Robert D. Newman has been Dean of the College of Humanities, Associate Vice President for Interdisciplinary Studies, and Professor of English at the University of Utah since 2001. Under his administration, development funding to the College has increased by a 300% average annually for a total of approximately $50 million over eight years and external grant funding by a 1300% average annually. In addition to raising private funds to build a new Humanities building, Dr. Newman has raised funds for the most lucratively endowed chair in the University’s history and endowed the new Environmental Humanities program. He has established several new interdisciplinary and international programs and centers with numerous campus, community, national, and international collaborators. In addition to a new International Studies program, now the fastest growing non-disciplinary major in the University, the College has created new programs in Religious Studies, Latin American Studies, Animation Studies, New Media Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Documentary Studies, Environmental Humanities, Comparative Literature and Culture, the first University Writing Center, as well as new Asia and American West Centers, and a Center for Endangered American Indian Languages (in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute). New university interdisciplinary programs and initiatives have been established in a number of areas, including Disability Studies, Sustainability, Technical, Visual, and Information Literacy, Values and Ethics, and Women’s Health and Justice.
Under Dr. Newman’s leadership, faculty recruitment, retention, diversity, salaries, and research support have been significantly enhanced. An innovative and successful first generation scholarship campaign also has elevated the level of student diversity on campus and numerous community partnerships have been forged. He received the University’s award for Equity and Diversity in 2008 and previously received a Distinguished Teaching Award.
Dr. Newman earned his Ph. D. at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill in 1982 and his scholarship has been focused on James Joyce, twentieth century literature and culture, and narrative theory. He has published six books, two of which have been nominated for major national awards, and numerous articles and reviews; and has been the recipient of distinguished teaching awards. He also serves as General Editor of the “Cultural Frames, Framing Culture” series published by University of Virginia Press and on several Boards of Directors dealing with environmental, human rights, and western folklife concerns. He previously held faculty positions at the University of South Carolina, Texas A&M University, and The College of William and Mary.