Duthu named associate dean for international studies and programs
Native American Studies professor N. Bruce Duthu ’80 will succeed French, comparative literature and film studies professor Lynn Higgins as the next Frank J. Guarini Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Studies and Interdisciplinary Programs. He will be the third in the position since its creation a decade ago, starting his tenure on July 1.
The associate dean position encompasses the African and African American studies, Asian and Middle-Eastern studies, comparative literature, environmental studies, Jewish studies, Latin American, Latino and Caribbean studies, linguistics, cognitive sciences, quantitative social sciences, Native American studies, Neukom Institute, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric programs.
Duthu previously served as the director of the Native American Program, the associate dean of freshmen and the director of the Intensive Academic Support Program. After teaching at Vermont Law School from 1991 to 2008, he returned to the College and chaired the Native American Studies department from 2009 to 2015.
Duthu wrote in an email that his time as the chair of the Native American studies developed his working understanding and appreciation of the “curricular wealth” in the areas he will now oversee.
Before the position was created, the interdisciplinary programs were scattered among the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences departments. Higgins said that she continued the work of her predecessor, classics and linguistics professor Lindsay Whaley, to consolidate collective projects and identities of the programs.
“Interdisciplinary programs tended to be an afterthought in a lot of conversations,” Higgins said. “I’ve looked to remind the College that these are a part of our mission and essential to many of the things that we hold dear.”
During her time as associate dean, she created the women’s studies program, as well as implemented shorter term programs, December interim programs and hybrid programs that combine traits of exchange and study abroad programs.
Duthu said that although the interdisciplinary and international programs are distinct, they both involve working closely with faculty leaders and the relevant oversight committees to ensure meeting goals in terms of intellectual rigor, academic coherence and overall contribution to the growth and development of students.
“These programs provide critically important pathways for our students to learn from and to engage with cultures and societies different from their own while also developing and enhancing their capacity for thinking across disciplines in imaginative and productive ways,” Duthu said.
After he assumes his new position, Duthu’s teaching will decrease to one course per year so that he can focus on his new responsibilities. Duthu said that he will be meeting with faculty, administrative staff and students to enhance existing programs and develop additional ones.
“I’m excited, for example, to explore the possibilities of greater collaboration between and among our programs/departments in arts and sciences and those in the graduate and professional schools,” he said.