Emory University has selected Barbara Krauthamer as the next dean of the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Ravi Bellamkonda announced in an April 25 email to Emory College students. Krauthamer, who is currently the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) College of Humanities and Fine Arts dean, will assume her new position at Emory on July 1.
University President Gregory Fenves wrote in an April 25 press release that Krauthamer, an award-winning author and historian, has shown that higher education can “change lives through knowledge, discovery and creativity.”
“She has broad experience and a compelling vision to take the Emory College of Arts and Sciences to new heights of excellence,” Fenves wrote. “She will be a champion for our students and faculty across disciplines and specialties.”
Starting as a member of the history faculty at UMass Amherst in 2008, Krauthamer served as dean of the graduate school from 2017 to 2020 and as senior vice provost for interdisciplinary programs and innovations from 2019 to 2020. She has also worked as a faculty member at New York University.
During her tenure in Massachusetts, Krauthamer led data-driven strategic planning initiatives to identify places for growth and foster academic strengths, according to the press release. She also focused on establishing intellectual communities and launched a mentoring program that built a community for junior faculty and identified opportunities for staff professional development and recognition. Krauthamer “proactively engaged” wide-spread UMass alumni and regional communities.
Additionally, Krauthamer “reinvigorated” a seminar benefitting first-generation and underrepresented students and was dedicated to ensuring students could access co-curricular opportunities, such as internships and study abroad, regardless of their financial standing.
UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy commended Krauthamer for her time at UMass, calling her an “outstanding scholar, teacher and leader.”
“Both in her role as graduate dean and as dean of the College of the Humanities and Fine Arts, she has distinguished herself through her devotion to student and faculty development,” Subbaswamy wrote in the press release.” She has been a great ambassador for UMass in emphasizing equity and access. She will be sorely missed.”
Krauthamer — who has a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College (N.H.), a master’s degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University (N.J.) — has authored multiple books, including “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” which she co-wrote with Deborah Willis to win the 2013 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Nonfiction. She also wrote “Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation and Citizenship in the Native American South.”
In 2017, the Association of Black Women Historians presented Krauthamer with the Lorraine A. Williams Leadership Award for her dedication to creating opportunities for Black women working in higher education.
UMass Amherst Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Tricia Serio wrote in the press release that Krauthamer has made “innumerable contributions” to UMass Amherst as both an administrator and scholar of slavery and emancipation.
“She has consistently centered diversity, equity, and inclusion in her initiatives and has been an enthusiastic and effective advocate for the humanities and fine arts,” Serio wrote. “She will be missed, not only for her impactful professional contributions, but also for her thoughtful and collaborative approach to our mission and deep commitment to our values.”
Krauthamer noted that Emory’s vision and core values attracted her to the University.
“I think what makes Emory distinctive is a sense of service — that at this institution, education and research are in the service of human good,” Krauthamer wrote in the press release. “We’re at a crucial moment for higher education, and I believe that Emory College’s strengths in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences provide critical avenues through which we can prepare students to understand the human experience and move the world forward in productive, fulfilling ways.”
Krauthamer noted that she wants to learn more about Emory’s past and future goals, adding that she wants to strengthen community and operations across the College.
“My initial impression at every step along the way is how committed everyone is to the institution and to the shared goal of advancing it,” Krauthamer wrote in the press release. “I’ve been struck by the positive energy from everybody I’ve talked to. It’s really compelling and energizing to know that folks are so enthusiastic about Emory’s future and ready and eager to do the work.”
The search for a new Emory College dean attracted nearly 100 candidates, according to the press release, beginning after former Dean of Emory College Michael Elliott announced in a June 1 email that he would be stepping down from his position to become president of Amherst College (Mass.), his alma mater, starting Aug. 1, 2022. Elliott began serving as Emory College dean in 2017.
Carla Freeman, who is the Goodrich C. White professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, has been serving as interim dean of Emory College since Aug. 1, 2022. Prior to assuming this role, she served as executive associate dean of Emory College. After leaving her role as interim dean, Freeman will become the director of the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.
“Carla’s engaged leadership and passion for community engagement and liberal arts education have strategically positioned Emory College to continue its strong upward trajectory,” Bellamkonda wrote in the press release. “I look forward to her continued contributions as she takes on a new role as director of the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.”
Co-Chair of the Emory College Dean Search Advisory Committee and William R. Kenan Professor of Philosophy John Lysaker said that the committee was impressed by Krauthamer at every step of the interviewing process.
“The committee was impressed by her scholarly credentials, her ability to work creatively with multiple areas of research and performance, her feel and care for student life, her longstanding support of DEI initiatives and her personable, attentive manner,” Lysaker wrote in the University’s press release.
As dean of the college, Krauthamer will look to learn more about Emory as both a “community and an institution.”
This announcement precedes an update on who will serve as the next dean of Oxford College. Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology Kenneth E. Carter (87Ox, 89C) has served as interim dean of Oxford College since Aug. 1, 2022, following former Dean of Oxford College Douglas Hicks’ April 29, 2022 announcement that he is resigning from his position to become president of Davidson College (N.C.), his alma mater.