Varkonyi named director of General Education

Interim Provost Richard M. Englert has announced the appointment of Istvan Varkonyi, associate professor of German, as Temple’s new director of General Education.

“I look forward to Istvan furthering the tremendous energy and innovation that has become a trademark of Temple’s GenEd program,” said Englert.

Varkonyi was chosen by a search committee comprising faculty, a dean and staff from throughout the university and led by Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Peter Jones. Along with advancing the momentum and originality of the current program, Varkonyi is charged with devising a GenEd assessment plan to ensure that the program meets all of its goals.

“I am confident that Istvan will continue the great work done by Terry Halbert in GenEd’s formative years,” said Jones. “He brings to the job his many years leading the Intellectual Heritage Program; and as a professor of modern languages he also brings an international perspective to the job that will clearly be an asset.”

Varkonyi, who assumed his new position on June 1, explained how he will apply his international background. “There is a great opportunity to build on the success of Temple’s General Education Program and its unique Philadelphia Experience (PEX) component and infuse many of the GenEd offerings with a more global perspective,” he said.

A Temple professor since 1989, Varkonyi has been the director of the Intellectual Heritage since 2006. He has received several teaching awards, including the Temple University’s Honors Professor of the Year in 2007 and the Violet B. Ketels Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Intellectual Heritage Program in 2005.

Varkonyi earned Ph.D. and Master of Arts degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Heidelberg College, Ohio, Department of German, Latin and Greek.