Richard Utz Named Interim Dean of Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

Posted March 19, 2024

Richard Utz, senior associate dean and professor, has been appointed interim dean of Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, effective April 20. Dean Husbands Fealing, who served in that role since 2020, has been appointed assistant director of the National Science Foundation Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. 

Utz is an experienced academic leader who has served as a senior associate dean in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and as chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC). Under his leadership, LMC experienced remarkable growth, including increased external research funding, faculty productivity, and student enrollment. Notably, he championed the expansion of the School's curriculum to include interdisciplinary minors in Black media studies, science fiction, and social justice, and a master's degree in global media and cultures.   

As senior associate dean, Utz has demonstrated commitment to faculty affairs processes and professional development, implementing comprehensive resources and mentorship programs to support faculty growth and success. He played a pivotal role in shaping the Ivan Allen College strategic plan and organized impactful events that fostered integration between the arts, humanities, and social sciences with STEM fields. Utz also worked to garner funds for LGBTQ+ projects and international summer internships for students. 

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Utz is a highly respected scholar with expertise in medievalism, literary and language studies, and the interconnections between humanistic inquiry and science and technology. He has authored many publications on these topics, including three monographs, 21 edited essay collections, and over 80 journal articles and book chapters, earning international acclaim for his contributions to the field. 

“We are fortunate that Richard has agreed to step into the interim dean role,” said Steven W. McLaughlin, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “He is a pillar of the Ivan Allen community, with impressive campus leadership credentials. Ivan Allen couldn’t be in better hands as we bid farewell to Dean Husbands Fealing and begin the search for the next dean.” 

Utz will serve until a new dean is named. The search committee will be chaired by Dean of Libraries Leslie Sharp. An external firm will be identified to lead a national search. More information about the search committee and process will be provided soon. 

Writer: Brittany Aiello, Faculty Communications Manager, Organizational and Academic Communications

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