Robin G. Schulze appointed dean of UB’s College of Arts and Sciences

New CAS dean chosen after extensive, national search

Robin G. Schulze has been named dean of UB’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), effective July 1, after an extensive national search.

Charles F. Zukoski, UB provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, announced Thursday afternoon that Schulze has been appointed as dean. Schulze has served as the associate dean for the humanities and was an English professor at the University of Delaware.

CAS Dean E. Bruce Pitman will step down and resume his role as a professor and researcher at UB. Pitman announced in October 2015 he would step down after his five-year tenure. Faculty in the CAS said Pitman was an “innovative leader,” but was selected as dean during a time when STEM was accelerating and the arts were declining.

The national search for the new dean consisted of a list of more than 50 “well-qualified” applicants. This was narrowed down to a list of 15 candidates, then Schulze was selected out of the final four candidates, according to Robert Shibley, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.

“As dean, I am confident that Dr. Schulze will lead our College of Arts and Sciences to build on its strengths, achieve even greater prominence in research and education and enhance its impact in our local and global communities,” Zukoski said in his announcement to the university.

CAS is the largest academic unit on campus with 27 departments, 16 academic programs, 23 centers and institutes, two art galleries and major theater and music performance venues, according to the UB website.

Schulze earned her Ph.D in English and her master’s degrees in English and music performance from the University of Michigan. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in music history from Yale University.

Schulze is “an expert in modernist American poetry, textual scholarship, editorial theory, and modernist literature and culture” and is widely recognized as “one of the world’s leading scholars of the poet Marianne Moore and her modernist peers,” according to Zukoski.

Schulze has published four books and more than 20 articles. She has attained prestigious grants from the National Humanities Center and the American Philosophical Society. She is the president and an executive board member of the Society for Textual Scholarship.

“Dr. Schulze emerged as the leading candidate as a result of her significant leadership experience, impressive scholarly accomplishments, creative energy, strong commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and proven ability to work with faculty to create and implement a shared vision,” Zukoski said.

The other three finalists included: Tyrus Miller, the vice provost and dean of Graduate Studies at the University of California, Douglas Ulmer, a professor at the School of Mathematics at Georgia Institute of Technology, and Abbas Bennamoun, the vice provost for Faculty Affairs and Academic Policies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Shibley said the finalists came out of a “very elaborate search process,” after hiring the search firm Reynolds Russell Associates, which specializes in higher education and worked with Dr. Jett Pihakis.

There were 13 members of the “diverse” search committee with UB professors from the arts and sciences, according to Shibley.

Pitman said he feels “pretty blue” about the change. Pitman started working at UB in 1989 and came as an assistant professor in mathematics.

He said he’ll miss working with the alumni association the most.

“UB is home," Pitman said. "There are real friends here. They are more than just coworkers.” 

Pitman said he wasn’t going to stay forever as dean and noted that October was a convenient time to resign since it was the end of his term.

Pitman will be going back to his research and will be collaborating with professors in UB’s geology and mechanical engineering departments as well as with faculty at other schools, such as Duke University.

Pitman said he would tell the new dean, “the most important thing is we have some really good people in the college” and to “get the most out of it.”

“The way the demographics of students coming into the various programs are in a state of change,” Shibley said. “We’ve been looking for a leader who can understand and take part in leading what kind of changes need to occur in the College of Arts and Sciences.”

Hannah Stein is the co-senior news editor and can be reached at