College of Arts and Sciences announce deans
Two professors have been named to senior leadership positions in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Robert C. Thunell, a professor in the department of earth and ocean science and the marine science program, has been named senior associate dean for the natural sciences. Dr. Anne Bezuidenhout, professor and chair of the philosophy department, has been named interim senior associate dean of liberal arts. Bezuidenhout replaces Dr. Steve Lynn, who will become the dean of the South Carolina Honors College.
Thunell will oversee strategic planning and management for eight departments, three interdisciplinary programs, 15 centers and institutes. He has extensive experience as an administrator, having managed large grants and serving as a director of departments, programs and schools within the college for 20 years.
An oceanographer and geologist, Thunell joined the faculty in 1979 and has been awarded 43 grants totaling more than $9 million. His work has been published in the field’s most prominent journals. In 1992, he was named a Carolina Distinguished Professor, and in 2009, he earned the distinction as a Fellow of the AAAS, the world’s leading scientific society.
Bezuidenhout will direct strategic planning and oversee the expansive liberal arts, which include 12 departments, 17 programs and 15 centers and institutes. A professor for 21 years, she has served in a number of administrative roles in her discipline, more recently as chairman of the department of philosophy.
In addition to philosophy, Bezuidenhout is among the core faculty in the Linguistics Program. She is internationally recognized for her scholarship in the philosophy of language, formal semantics and pragmatics and the philosophy of the mind, particularly in the debate that surrounds the nature of consciousness. Her research has included collaborations with psychology faculty on NSF-funded research using psycholinguistic methods to study the role that context plays in language comprehension. She is published widely in top philosophy and linguistics journals.
Thunell, Bezuidenhout and Lynn will begin their new positions July 1.