Transitions: People in Academe

Felipe Ruiz, Arizona State U.

Rhonda Phillips, inaugural dean of the honors college at Purdue U.
September 23, 2013


Julie A. Freischlag, chair of the surgery department and surgeon in chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, will become dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for human health sciences at the University of California at Davis in February. The previous permanent dean, Claire Pomeroy, left in June, following a controversy over unusual surgeries performed by two neurosurgeons on the faculty. Dr. Pomeroy is now president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.

Gary Koretzky, an immunologist and professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will become dean of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and senior associate dean for research at Weill Cornell Medical College on October 1.

Rhonda Phillips, who was an associate dean of Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, has been named inaugural dean of the Honors College at Purdue University. The college's first class, of 560 freshmen, began this fall semester.

Walter A. Hill, vice provost and dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment, and Nutrition Sciences at Tuskegee University, has been promoted to provost, effective September 15. He succeeds Luther S. Williams, who is retiring as executive vice president and provost.


Chris Kaiser will step down as provost of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next month and will rejoin the faculty as a biology professor. He has been provost since July 2012.


Sheldon Hackney, a scholar and university leader, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Massachusetts on September 12. He was 79. He was president of Tulane University from 1975 to 1980 and of the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 to 1993. After serving as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 1993 to 1997, he returned to Penn to teach history.

Richard Warch, president of Lawrence University from 1979 to 2004, died of cancer on September 14. He was 74. During his tenure, he revitalized Björklunden, an estate on Lake Michigan that was bequeathed to the institution, so it could be used for weekend seminars for faculty and students.

Roderic B. Park, a professor emeritus of botany and plant biology at the University of California at Berkeley, died of cancer on September 6. He was 81. He was provost and dean of the College of Letters and Science from 1972 to 1980, and vice chancellor from 1980 to 1990. He was also interim chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1994 to 1997 and a decade later served for a half year as acting chancellor of the University of California at Merced, which he had helped found.