Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Psychologist Susan Gelman appointed interim dean of LSA

Susan A. Gelman, the Heinz Werner Collegiate Professor of Psychology, has been appointed interim dean of LSA.


Susan Gelman

Her appointment, approved Thursday by the Board of Regents, is effective Sept. 1 and runs through Aug. 31, 2014. LSA Dean Terrence McDonald steps down Aug. 31, when he becomes director of the Bentley Historical Library.

"Susan Gelman is one of the most distinguished and highly visible scholars in the college," said Provost Phil Hanlon in recommending her for the interim post. "With her years of experience as a faculty member and her knowledge of the college's administration, I am confident the college will maintain its momentum during this interim period."

Gelman has been a member of the U-M faculty since 1984, rising through the ranks to become professor in 1991. She is a developmental psychologist who studies concepts and language in young children. She is the author of more than 200 scholarly publications. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Academy of Education and other agencies.

"I am honored to serve the college, my colleagues and our students during this interim period," Gelman said.

LSA is the largest of U-M's 19 schools and colleges with 18,000 students and 1,100 faculty members. An interim dean is being appointed, Hanlon said, after the search process for a new dean failed to reach a successful conclusion. A new search committee will be formed soon, he said.

Gelman has filled a number of administrative roles within LSA, including as a member of the college's executive committee. She has served as assistant to the dean of faculty appointments and was associate dean from 2004-07. During that time she was responsible for faculty appointments and research in the social science division of the college.

She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the development of thought and language and mentors a wide range of students. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and the Cognitive Science Society. Last year she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.