The University Record, May 22, 2000

Bucknell’s Daniel Little named Dearborn chancellor

By Jane R. Elgass

Daniel Little has been named chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, effective July 1. His appointment was approved by the Board of Regents at its May 18 meeting, upon the recommendation of President Lee C. Bollinger.

Little currently is vice president for academic affairs and professor of philosophy at Bucknell University, positions he has held since 1996.

In recommending Little to head the Dearborn campus, Bollinger said: “My conversations with Dan Little have thoroughly convinced me that he will be precisely the sort of creative, energetic and thoughtful leader that the U-M-Dearborn deserves at this time. His dedication to academic excellence, his own record of scholarly achievement, his profound commitment to education, his deep understanding of the possibilities for creative interactions between disciplines and with the world outside of the university, his administrative achievements, and his thorough commitment to collegial deliberation and open administration make him, I believe, extremely well suited to joining the U-M-Dearborn as chancellor and as colleague.”

Prior to joining Bucknell, Little was associate dean of the faculty at Colgate University (1993–96) and also was assistant professor (1979–85), associate professor (1985–92) and professor of philosophy (1992–96). He also has been a visiting scholar and associate at the Harvard University Center for International Affairs, visiting associate professor at Wellesley College and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

He holds a B.S. degree in mathematics and A.B. in philosophy, both from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University.

Little’s administrative responsibilities as vice president for academic affairs included oversight of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering; administration of faculty salaries and the faculty merit evaluation system, as well as engagement in all tenure-track hiring; working with deans and faculty in curriculum revision and enhancement; involvement in planning for new academic facilities; working on the development and implementation of a strategic financial plan; drafting of curriculum development proposals for external funding; and establishment of intensive faculty colloquia in the humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and society.

He also had oversight responsibilities related to information services and resources; international education; and Bucknell’s writing center, art gallery, press and center for the performing arts.

Little’s recent publications include Microfoundations, Method, and Causation: Essays in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (1998) and On the Reliability of Economic Models: Essays in the Philosophy of Economics (1995). Development Ethics: Justice, Wellbeing and Poverty in the Developing World is in process.

His honors include the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award for Varieties of Social Explanation and a Social Science Research Council/MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in International Peace and Security.

Little’s professional activities have included service on a number of postdoctoral fellowship screening committees for the Social Science Research Council/MacArthur Foundation, and he has conducted grant proposal reviews for the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, National Endowment for the Humanities and the MacArthur Foundation. He also has conducted manuscript reviews for many publishers, including university presses at Yale, Cambridge, Princeton, Oxford, Harvard, Duke and Fairleigh Dickinson, as well as Westview Press and Hackett Publishing.

The U-M-Dearborn is one of three U-M campuses, located on 196 acres of the former estate of automotive pioneer Henry Ford. It offers affiliation with a large university and the advantages of moderate size and small classes.

Established in 1959 with a gift from the Ford Motor Co., U-M-Dearborn has developed into a comprehensive university, offering undergraduate and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, management, education and public administration.

One-third of the campus is maintained as one of the largest natural areas in metropolitan Detroit, serving as a research and teaching facility for students and school teachers on campus and throughout the region.

Fall term 1999 enrollment at U-M-Dearborn was 8,118. The mean high school GPA for the fall 1997 entering class was 3.4, the mean ACT score was 23.5. Ninety-five percent of the students are Michigan residents, primarily from the greater Detroit metropolitan area.

U-M-Dearborn offers nearly 60 degree programs under the tutelage of 230 full-time instructional faculty, with graduate programs in education, engineering and management designed to meet the needs of practicing professionals, as well as the needs of businesses, institutions, agencies and government entities in the region.

U-M-Dearborn continues to grow, with construction of a new classroom and office building for the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters nearly complete. Work also is under way to build the Environmental Interpretive Center, which will be a research center, an experiential environmental center, and a green oasis and wildlife preserve in one of the nation’s most heavily industrialized areas.

In 1999, the state government approved planning for a $35 million addition to the campus’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.