Thomas DiPiero named SMU’s new Dedman College dean

Thomas DiPiero, June 2014-1The next dean of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is a multidisciplinary scholar whose academic interests range from French literature to the psychoanalysis of race and gender.

Thomas DiPiero has been named to lead the largest of SMU’s seven colleges and schools, as well as to professorships in the Departments of English and World Languages and Literatures. He will join the University on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014.

Currently, DiPiero is dean of humanities and interdisciplinary studies in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering and professor of French and of Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester, New York. He replaces William Tsutsui, who resigned in May to become president of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.

DiPiero received both his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Romance studies from Cornell University, in 1984 and 1988 respectively. He earned a B.A. degree in French and an M.A. in Romance languages and literatures from The Ohio State University in 1978 and 1980.

“I am honored and exhilarated to have been named dean of Dedman College,” DiPiero said. “Dedman College is the academic heart of SMU, home to world-class, innovative teaching and research about the natural world, its people, their creations and institutions. The college’s departments, programs, and centers are leading the way in creating new knowledge and new fields of inquiry, and I am tremendously eager to work with faculty, students, and staff to extend the intellectual boundaries of our work and the geographic reaches of our discoveries.”

“I am excited about Dedman College’s future under the leadership of Dr. DiPiero,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The College, which is the heart of an SMU education, will benefit from his interdisciplinary approach to the humanities and sciences, as well as from his passion for research and teaching. He’s a great fit for Dedman College and for SMU.”

“Dr. DiPiero has an outstanding reputation for working across boundaries to bring the humanities and sciences together,” said Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He also established a strong record of promoting both graduate and undergraduate students during his time at the University of Rochester. The students of Dedman College and the broader University will be well served by his leadership and experience.”

Ludden also expressed thanks to Peter Moore, senior associate dean and associate dean for academic affairs in Dedman College, for serving as interim dean during the search. “Dr. Moore is a consummate professional, and his work in an interim role is helping Dedman College maintain its momentum as we prepare for Dr. DiPiero’s arrival.”

DiPiero is the author or co-editor of three books: White Men Aren’t (Duke University Press, 2002); Illicit Sex: Identity Politics in Early Modern Europe, edited with Pat Gill (University of Georgia Press, 1997); and Dangerous Truths and Criminal Passions: The Evolution of the French Novel 1569-1791 (Stanford University Press, 1992). He served as editor of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (University of Pennsylvania Press) from 2005-13, and has written several book chapters, as well as numerous journal articles.

DiPiero previously served as a visiting faculty member at SMU-in-Taos in 2011 and as a guest lecturer for SMU’s Gilbert Lecture Series in 2008.

“Tom DiPiero will bring a superb combination of gifts to his new position as dean of Dedman College,” said William Lawrence, dean of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and search committee chair. “He has excelled as an interdisciplinary and international leader in higher education, with creative initiatives in the sciences as well as the humanities. Our search committee was tremendously impressed with his qualifications, and we are thrilled with his appointment.”

Dedman College has 307 full-time faculty members, including 19 endowed professorships. About half of SMU’s undergraduates pursue majors in Dedman College through 39 baccalaureate degree programs, and minors in more than 50 areas. Nineteen graduate programs in Dedman College lead to a master’s degree, and 13 programs lead to a doctor of philosophy degree.

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