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Provost Announcement: Astride Orle Tantillo named Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

June 21, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce Astrida Orle Tantillo, Professor of Germanic Studies and History, has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The appointment is effective July 20, 2012, pending Board of Trustees approval.

Dr. Tantillo, a scholar of 18th-century German culture and history specializing in the scientific works of writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, has served as Interim Dean of the college since November 2010. She previously served as Director of the UIC School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics.

During Dr. Tantillo's time as Interim Dean, the college achieved new milestones in fundraising with the largest amount in cash gifts ever received during a fiscal year, an endowed chair, and numerous new scholarships. She has also led efforts to enhance existing or create new faculty research initiatives, improve student support programs, and increase hires of new faculty.

Since arriving at UIC in 1995, she has held various leadership positions and served as a member of many curriculum enhancement committees. Dr. Tantillo is a former LAS Associate Dean for General Education and the Humanities. In 2008-2009, she chaired the committee to form the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics. As Director of the school, she supervised six academic departments and the Sandi Port Errant Language and Culture Learning Center. She was Head of the Department of Germanic Studies from 2006-2009.

As a leading scholar in her field, Dr. Tantillo currently serves as president of the Goethe Society of North America and the founding editor of the book series "Goethe and His Age." She is the author of three books, "The Will to Create: Goethe's Philosophy of Nature," "Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics," and "Goethe's Modernisms." The last book, published in 2010, relates Goethe's work to contemporary social issues in the United States. With education as a major focus, she examines the positives and negatives surrounding student-centered and teacher-centered education and analyzes the influence of capitalism on university teaching.

Dr. Tantillo, who instructs courses on 18th-century German culture and history of science, has been recognized for her teaching with awards from UIC and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. She is also the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Weimar Classics Foundation, International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and UIC Institute for the Humanities.

Dr. Tantillo received her undergraduate degree in European History and German from the University of Oregon. She earned her master's degree and doctoral degree from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

I am grateful to the search committee, co-chaired by Paul Brandt-Rauf, Dean of the School of Public Health, and Mary Case, University Librarian, for their excellent work.

It has been my privilege to have worked with Astrida on many projects during the past 10 years. I am confident in her ability to lead the college and continue the upward trajectory of excellence in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Please join me in congratulating her on this appointment.


Lon S. Kaufman
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost

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