Around the Ring

Dean of Humanities Hired as Next President of Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College board of trustees announced Nov. 6 that Karen Lawrence, dean of UC Irvine’s School of Humanities, will become the next president of the liberal arts institution in Bronxville, New York.

After eight years at UCI, she will replace retiring president, Michele Tolela Myers on Aug. 1, 2007, which will make Lawrence the 10th president.

Since her arrival at UCI in 1998, Lawrence developed the International Center for Writing and Translation and the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture. In addition, she assisted in fundraising for the Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies and Culture, the Chair in Humanities in Rhetoric and Communication, the Abraham I. Melden Professorship in Moral Philosophy and the Howard Baskerville Professorship.

As dean, she also developed new undergraduate majors in global cultures and humanities and arts, alongside a graduate program in culture and theory. Lawrence generated internship opportunities for undergraduates in the humanities program and supported the creation of outreach programs.

Outside of UCI, Lawrence co-chaired the University of California Presidental Humanities Commission on the Future of the Humanities in the 21st Century and served on the Modern Language Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession. She also serves as the president of the International James Joyce Foundation, having written two book about James Joyce, and as the president of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature.

Throughout her career as a dean and English and comparative literature professor, Lawrence received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Ramona Cannon Award for distinguished teaching in the humanities and the University of Utah’s Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Service.