“The social mission of the university was key to my decision.”

Provost Keith Whitfield announced the appointment of Stephanie Hartwell as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on May 18.

“The search committee worked diligently with students, faculty and staff to review the finalists, and were most impressed with Hartwell’s vision, enthusiasm, experience and extensive leadership abilities,” Whitfield said in the statement released to all university employees.

Hartwell is a community-based mental health services researcher who most recently served as both the interim dean of the College of Public and Community Service and an associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Hartwell said WSU’s R-1 status and having students participate in the generation of knowledge were some of the factors that influenced her decision to come to Detroit.

“I want to get to know Detroit as a city; each city has its own idiosyncrasies,” she said. “The social mission of the university was key to my decision.”

Hartwell’s term follows the departure of Wayne Raskind who has served as dean of CLAS since 2012.

“With both wit and metrics, [Raskind] has made a number of hard decisions that have provided a firm foundation for the next leader,” Whitfield said.

Whitfield said Hartwell’s “vision, enthusiasm, experience and extensive leadership abilities,” stood out to the search committee when they reviewed final candidates with students, faculty and staff.

“As an expert in evaluation and social problems with a keen interest in social justice, I know [Hartwell] has the ability to galvanize [CLAS] to best serve our students and community,” Whitfield said.

Hartwell’s term begins Aug. 1.

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