Peter Hahn, dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities, has been named lead dean of the Humanities and the Arts Discovery Theme. He assumes that position from Arts and Sciences Vice Dean Susan Williams, who along with former Vice Provost Michael Boehm, has worked to guide planning for this Discovery Theme initiative since its inception in 2015. Williams will continue to support the Theme through September 2017, providing advice and assistance in such areas as strategic and budget planning.
In his new role, Hahn becomes part of the Discovery Themes Executive Committee led by Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron and composed of Senior Vice President for Research Caroline Whitacre and the lead deans of the other Discovery Themes areas: Cathann Kress (Food Production and Security), David Manderscheid (Translational Data Analytics), David Williams (Energy and Environment), and Karla Zadnik (Health and Wellness). The Executive Committee’s responsibilities include making budget recommendations to the provost and providing strategic updates to the Board of Trustees.
Hahn also will oversee the evolution of the Humanities and the Arts theme and will continue to lead its two-year pilot program within the Division of Arts and Humanities that is currently funding 11 clusters of faculty and students working on interdisciplinary topics. Based on outcomes from the initial year of the pilots, and with input from the pilot PIs, the program’s steering committee, and the Arts and Humanities department chairs, Hahn will develop and implement a plan for the Theme’s first focus area. He also will appoint a faculty leader for the new focus area and establish a hiring plan to support it. A second focus area is likely to be identified within the next two to three years.
A research scholar, Hahn specializes in U.S. foreign relations in the Middle East since 1940. Since 2002, he has served as executive director of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, a professional society of some 1,600 members in four dozen countries.