UIC Humanities Scholar Named Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Astrida Orle Tantillo, professor of Germanic studies and history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been named dean of the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The appointment is effective July 20, pending approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Tantillo, a scholar of 18th-century German culture and history specializing in the scientific works of writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, has served as interim dean of the college since November 2010. She previously served as director of the UIC School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics.

She succeeds Dwight McBride, who resigned in 2010 to become dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education at Northwestern University.

“Professor Tantillo has proven to be an outstanding leader and is highly regarded within the university based on her record as a scholar and administrator,” said Lon Kaufman, UIC vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost. “Under her direction, we are excited to witness the continued growth of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the college, which in my view, is at the heart of UIC’s mission,” said Tantillo, who is the first woman to serve as dean of the college. “I look forward to enhancing our already impressive research profile, and building significantly upon our record as a diverse, engaged, urban campus.”

During Tantillo’s time as interim dean, the college achieved new milestones in fundraising, enhanced existing or created new faculty research initiatives, improved student support programs, and increased hires of new faculty.

Since arriving at UIC in 1995, she has held various leadership positions and has been an active member of many curriculum enhancement initiatives.

Tantillo previously served as associate dean for general education and the humanities and chaired the 2008-2009 committee to form the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics. As director of the school, she supervised six academic departments and the Sandi Port Errant Language and Culture Learning Center. She was head of the department of Germanic studies from 2006 to 2009.

She has received teaching awards from UIC and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Weimar Classics Foundation, International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and UIC Institute for the Humanities.

Tantillo teaches courses on 18th-century German culture and history of science, and is the author of three books, “Goethe’s Modernisms,” “The Will to Create: Goethe’s Philosophy of Nature,” and “Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Critics.”

She is the president of the Goethe Society of North America and the founding editor of the book series “Goethe and His Age.”

Tantillo received a bachelor’s degree in European history and German from the University of Oregon and earned her master’s degree and doctoral degree from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

With more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is UIC’s largest college. It comprises more than 20 departments and programs offering over 40 undergraduate major fields of specialization, 40 minors, nearly 50 graduate degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels, and almost 1,000 courses. The college features programs in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

More information about UIC.

[Photos available at: http://newsphoto.lib.uic.edu/v/Tantillo/]