First College of Liberal Arts & Sciences dean candidate to present Oct. 17

LAWRENCE – The first candidate for the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) executive dean position will give a public presentation from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, in the Beren Petroleum Conference Center in Slawson Hall.

The presentation will be livestreamed, and the passcode is 952208.

Alfred López is one of four candidates who will present their vision for the College in today’s rapidly changing landscape of higher education. The College is the largest academic unit at the university, and the executive dean will strategically and collaboratively lead the school in its scholarly and educational contributions.

López currently serves as the head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue University, a position he held in the interim on two separate occasions before receiving a permanent appointment in 2022. An affiliated faculty member at the university since 2017, López also serves as the director of the Global Studies Program and the director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at Purdue.

Each candidate will be announced approximately two business days before their scheduled campus visit. Public presentations for each of the candidates will take place in the Beren Petroleum Conference Center in Slawson Hall on the following dates:

  • Alfred López: 2-3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17
  • Candidate 2: 2-3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19
  • Candidate 3: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25
  • Candidate 4: 2-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to offer their impressions and observations of each candidate online through a limited-time feedback survey. Feedback on López’s presentation is due by 5 p.m. Oct. 20. A recording of his presentation will be available the morning after the presentation on the search website until the survey closes.

Each candidate will meet with Chancellor Douglas A. Girod, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, senior administrators, College chairs and directors, deans, KU Endowment, the KU Alumni Association, university governance, graduate and undergraduate students, and the College dean’s office executive committee and administrative staff. 

Co-chairs Simon Atkinson and Kim Warren lead the search committee. Atkinson serves as the vice chancellor for research, while Warren serves as associate professor of history in the College and associate dean of Academic Affairs for the KU Edwards Campus.

“The search committee has recruited and vetted an amazing pool of candidates who are highly invested in KU’s large programs in the liberal arts and sciences,” Warren said. “The finalists are strong scholars in their disciplines who have also had experience growing programs across fields.

“Search committee members have spent a lot of time with the candidates on Zoom and look forward to introducing them in person to colleagues and the larger KU community.”

As head of Purdue’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies, López provides leadership and vision for one department and 15 interdisciplinary programs with 385 undergraduate students, 240 students seeking a minor and 80 master’s and doctoral students across three graduate programs. He organized the school’s search for the director of film studies and served on the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) Strategic Planning Committee, which prepared a new five-year strategic plan.

López serves as a mentor to students in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program as well as the Global Studies Program. He has significantly increased the enrollment and number of majors and minors available in both programs. A tenured faculty member at Purdue since 2012, López serves as a professor of English and comparative literature and is an affiliated faculty member of American studies. He served as an associate professor in the English departments of the University of Mississippi and Florida International University before arriving at Purdue in that same role in 2007.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, López was selected as one of 15 faculty members to participate in the Purdue Insights Forum, a yearlong comprehensive training program for administrators. Additionally, he was named Outstanding Faculty Member by the Latino Cultural Center in spring 2018.

López’s research and teaching specialties include the Global South and postcolonial studies, Cuban and Cuban-American studies and Latin American and Caribbean studies. He has written five books, including “José Martí: A Revolutionary Life” in 2014, with one more book forthcoming. López is the founding editor of the Global South, the leading academic journal of globalization studies.

López earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida International, a master’s degree in English from The Ohio State University and a doctorate in English from the University of Iowa. He also conducted a graduate study at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico.

About the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

The approximately 11,000 undergraduates, 1,700 graduate students, 700 faculty and 375 staff who comprise the KU CLAS share a commitment to excellence. The College provides students with a broad foundation of arts, liberal arts and sciences concepts that will expand what they know and provide new ways of thinking about challenges.

The College is home to more than 50 departments, programs and centers, as well as the School of the Arts and School of Public Affairs & Administration. Those departments, programs and centers offer more than 150 majors, minors and certificates, which prepare students with fundamental skills and knowledge that will serve them in any career.

Thu, 10/13/2022


Evan Riggs

Media Contacts

Evan Riggs

Office of the Provost