The University Record, April 18, 1994

Weisbuch appointed to 2 posts

The appointment of English department chair Robert A. Weisbuch as associate vice president for research and associate dean for faculty programs in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies was approved by the Regents last week. His Office of the Vice President for Research appointment is effective May 1, the Rackham appointment on July 1.

Weisbuch also is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of English language and literature.

In recommending Weisbuch for the research post, Vice President for Research Homer A. Neal said that “Weisbuch’s stature as a distinguished scholar, his keen understanding of research and scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, his efforts in support of the undergraduate experience, and his excellent record as an academic administrator make him an outstanding candidate for the position of associate vice president for research.”

In addition, Neal noted, the appointment of Weisbuch “strengthens our commitment to reach out to the humanities and arts and to involve undergraduates in research opportunities.”

As associate vice president for research, Weisbuch’s responsibilities will include serving as a liaison with relevant schools, colleges, institute and centers; leadership of task forces; development of research initiatives; and study of policy issues. His oversight and leadership responsibilities will span both externally sponsored research and non-sponsored research.

Graduate School Dean John H. D’Arms noted that Weisbuch “has an outstanding record as a distinguished scholar and teacher, as a strong advocate of the undergraduate educational experience, as a creative leader of a large academic department, and as a thoughtful contributor to many University initiatives.

“Graduate students,” the dean added, “already perform much of the undergraduate teaching at the University, and Bob Weisbuch will have a number of creative ideas to help make these experiences better for both graduate students and undergraduates. These two worlds are interconnected and interlocking in important ways. We look forward to drawing on Prof. Weisbuch’s energy, experience and imagination as part of the Graduate School leadership.”

At the Graduate School, Weisbuch will share responsibility for periodic evaluation of all doctoral programs with the dean, associate deans and assistant dean. Among his other responsibilities:

  • Approval of doctoral theses and arbitrating any disputes that might arise.

  • Monitoring Mellon and Dean’s Fellowships in the departments that have them.

  • Contributing to Rackham’s efforts to assign priorities to the various categories of fellowships available for graduate students, in order for these to achieve maximum impact.

    Weisbuch holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.Phil and Ph.D. from Yale University. He joined the

    U-M as assistant professor in 1972, was promoted to associate professor in 1976 and to professor in 1986. He was named chair of the Department of English in 1987 and the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English, 1993.

    His published scholarship includes several books and numerous articles, essays and reviews, with a primary focus on the work of Emily Dickinson and other 19th-century authors. He has been a reader for a number of university presses and an external reviewer for several departments of English, and is widely sought as a consultant regarding undergraduate education and the humanities.

    Weisbuch’s teaching has been recognized by receipt of the Class of ’23 Award in 1975, the Amoco Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1985, and the Collegiate Council Fellowship for Course Innovation in 1988–89.

    Within the University he has provided leadership through membership on a broad array of departmental, college and University committees. He has been a member of the English Department executive, salary policy, hiring and curriculum committees; chair of two major LS&A committees on the undergraduate experience, and is currently a member of the President’s Committee on the Future of the University.