Chatham taps two new deans

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Chatham University today announced two new deans.

Peter Walker, a Tufts University administrator, has been named the dean of the Falk School of Sustainability.

Bill Lenz, who has been with Chatham since 1980, has been named to the newly created post of dean of undergraduate innovation and special assistant to the president.

Mr. Walker, who holds a doctorate in soil science from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, will replace David Hassenzahl, who is leaving.

Mr. Walker has worked for more than 25 years on issues of humanitarian crises, sustainability and climate change in various countries, including the Sudan, Ethiopia, Iran, Pakistan and Somalia. At Tufts University, he has been director of the Feinstein International Center since 2002, the Rosenberg Professor of Nutrition and Human Security since 2007, and associate provost since early 2014.

Chatham University President Esther Barrazone said, “He has an exceptional combination of skills growing out of his personal entrepreneurial focus and his commitment to social justice, particularly as it relates to food access. These experiences, and his fine background in higher education as a scholar, teacher and administrator make him a real asset for the institution as we take the next steps in developing this flagship program for Chatham."

Mr. Lenz, who is in the English department and holds an endowed faculty chair, has taught at Chatham for 34 years, is chair of the humanities and the director of the Chatham Scholars program. He has traveled abroad with Chatham students. to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Belize and Guatemala, and to Hospital Albert Schweitzer Haiti. He holds a doctorate from the University of Virginia.

His new job will involve working universitywide to review university practices and the curriculum at the undergraduate level.

Ms. Barrazone said, "Dr. Lenz, with the high academic standards we all know to expect from him, his genuine student orientation and effectiveness, the respect in which his colleagues hold him, and his history of leadership for constructive change at the institution, make him the perfect person to play this role of leading institutional self-examination and constructive change in undergraduate education for the future."

Chatham University, which has about 2,200 students, is in the midst of a reorganization. The board voted last month to make the undergraduate college coed, thus making the university fully coed.


Education writer Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.

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