The University Record, April 15, 2002

Neuman to leave U-M; will become provost in Canada

By Laurel Thomas Gnagey

After three years as dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and professor of English and of women’s studies, Shirley Neuman, will leave her position to become provost of the University of Toronto, effective July 1.

As a native of Alberta, Neuman returns to Canada where, before coming to U-M, she was dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia from 1996 to 1999.

“I am delighted for Dean Neuman that she will have the opportunity to provide academic leadership to one of the great universities of her native Canada,” says Interim Provost Paul Courant. “Her many contributions to the University will have lasting impact here.

“The College of Literature, Science and the Arts is the heart of the University of Michigan, and one of the great academic institutions of the world. The College is in excellent financial and academic condition, reflecting the University’s commitment to its success.”

In a letter to deans, faculty and staff, Neuman expressed bittersweet feelings about leaving U-M. “We have achieved a great deal of which we can all be proud in the last three years. I am particularly pleased about the steps we have taken to provide better and longer-term planning in the College.

“We have worked together over the last years to do some spectacularly good hiring, including a significant number of critical senior appointments. Over 35 percent of these appointments have been minority faculty and just under 35 percent have been women. We have revised tenure procedures to better address issues around joint appointments and transparency of process and we are playing a leadership role in the NSF funded ADVANCE project to transform the presence of women in the sciences.”

Neuman is credited with recruitment of top faculty and students, increasing diversity, and strengthening research and academic programs in the college. She worked to enhance the neurosciences, to create joint appointments between her college and medicine, and rebuild programs in Asian, African American and American studies. Among her initiatives are new undergraduate programs in the environment and in organizational studies.

“The strength of the College lies in its faculty, staff, alumni and many friends, and we look forward to working with them to make this wonderful institution even stronger,” Courant says. “It is my intention to name an interim dean and search advisory committee expeditiously.”