University of Richmond Dean Heads to University of Chicago

June 3, 2021

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND ─ The dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Richmond, Patrice Rankine, will step down effective July 1 to assume the position of tenured professor in the Department of Classics in the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago.

“I’m enormously grateful to have served the University as dean of the School of Arts & Sciences,” Rankine said. “Working within a vibrant intellectual community, we have made great progress cultivating the active and collaborative academic environment that best serves our students. At an exciting time for my family and me, I am returning to my first love of teaching and research in the classics, joining one of the most recognized faculties in the field. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the University of Chicago puts me in a position to make significant contributions to my area of study. I leave with the deep satisfaction of knowing that the progress we have made as a School will continue.”

“Dean Rankine has been an ardent advocate for and leader of Arts & Sciences and of the University,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Jeff Legro. “He has attracted and nurtured a vibrant faculty, developed new academic programs and departments, and fostered student success. He has played an important role in helping the University address the challenges of COVID-19. And he has maintained an important voice in pressing national issues and debates in his field. We wish him well.”

During his tenure as dean, Rankine made a priority of building a thriving and inclusive community; prioritizing stewardship in a changing world; and supporting academic excellence, collaboration, and faculty recruitment and development. He initiated a yearly State of the School Address, launched the Dean’s Digest newsletter, energized A&S Next, initiated a pilot diversity position in A&S, and restructured staff in the dean’s office including an improved financial operations position, which led to better support in the divisions. Collaboration efforts centered on a strategic plan for the School, called Concept 30, new shared governance structures, establishment of the Health Studies department and the Africana Studies interdisciplinary academic program of study, and initiating the restructuring of the Modlin mission. More than three dozen new faculty were hired and more than fifty faculty members were tenured and promoted while he served as dean. 

Daniel Palazzolo, associate dean in the School of Arts & Sciences and professor of political science, has agreed to serve as the interim dean. Plans to search for a new dean are in development and will be announced later this summer.