Teresa S. Soufas steps down as dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Teresa S. Soufas, dean of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), has resigned effective immediately due to health reasons. Following a sabbatical, Soufas, an expert in Spanish literature, will return to faculty life at Temple to teach, complete a book and launch a research center for global studies.

Soufas has served as dean of CLA, one of the largest of the schools/colleges at Temple, since July 2007. During that time, she has made it a priority to support an environment of cross-disciplinary collaboration, leading to several important academic initiatives. Examples are the introduction of new programs in neuroscience and global studies and, in collaboration with the College of Science and Technology, an interdisciplinary institute for genomics and evolutionary medicine. Under Soufas' leadership, the college also launched a program in public history, which includes a mobile public-history museum that tells the story of Philadelphia's neighborhoods and has received generous funding from the Barra Foundation.

Over the last half dozen years, CLA has been a highly research-active college, consistently ranking among the top three schools at Temple in total research dollars expensed; in 2014, the total was more than $15.5 million.

Soufas has also served on several university committees, including the Search Committee for the Provost, Search Committee for the Dean of the School of Media and Communication, and President's Cabinet. Additionally, she actively engaged the faculty and staff in the day-to-day operations of the school through their work on committees including the Executive Committee, Budget Priorities Committee, Committee on Instruction, Graduate Committee, Tenure and Promotion Committee, Merit Committee, and Awards Committee.

I am grateful to Teresa for her leadership and commitment to students and faculty during the past seven and a half years. She has served the college and university in many capacities, helping to influence changes in the College of Liberal Arts. At a time when public universities and independent colleges are facing concerns that include declining enrollments in the liberal arts, President Theobald and I look forward to working with the college to develop a model for success.

An interim dean will be appointed and a national search conducted during the 2015–2016 academic year, with an appointment of a dean to be made in 2016.


Hai-Lung Dai

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs