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Holland named new Dean of Grad School

Allen Murphy | Thursday, September 6, 2007

Peter Holland, a renowned Shakespeare scholar and longtime Notre Dame professor, has been named acting dean of the University’s Graduate School. University President Father John Jenkins made the appointment at the recommendation of University Provost Thomas Burish.

The decision to select Holland was not a difficult one, Burish said.

“I consulted with a number of people on campus … and his name came up again and again,” he said.

Until Monday, Holland was the chair of the Department of Film, Television and Theater and held an appointment in the Department of English as the McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies. Holland is also the academic director of Actors from the London Stage, president of the Shakespeare Association of America and editor of Shakespeare Survey.

“I have a lot of titles,” Holland said. “But, I think the McMeel Family chair is the official one. It’s the position that brought me to Notre Dame.”

The specific responsibilities associated with being acting dean, however, are yet unknown. The position did not exist until recently when the University split the Office of Research from the Graduate School, Holland said.

“We took one position and divided it into two,” Burish said. The two positions created by the split are the vice president for research and the dean of the Graduate School. The current vice president for research is Professor Robert Bernhard.

During his time as acting dean, Holland hopes to improve conditions for graduate students living, studying and working at Notre Dame in the hopes of “attracting better and better graduate students,” he said.

The next step is to find someone to fill the position permanently.

“We are now going to do a national search for the dean of the Graduate School,” Burish said.

In the coming weeks, the Graduate Faculty Council will elect a search committee to fill the position. The hope is that the new Dean will be named in July 2008, Burish said. As for whether Holland will be a candidate for the permanent position is “totally up to him,” Burish said.