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Faculty Members Join SIS Administration

Tamar Gutner and Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

Two faculty members have taken on new roles in the administration within the School of International Service.  

Associate Professor Tamar Gutner will now serve as the new Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Graduate Education, while Professor Patrick Thaddeus Jackson will hold the position of Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.

SIS Dean James Goldgeier realized the need for two different posts to cater to two separate constituencies.

“We created two new associate dean positions because undergraduate and graduate education have very different purposes,” he explained. “We hope to create the very best liberal arts undergraduate education in international affairs, and Dean Jackson is a visionary in this area. We also hope to create the very best professional education for our M.A. students, and Dean Gutner's tremendous range of experience and knowledge make her the perfect person to help us take our program to the next level.”

Dean Gutner has served as the program director for both the International Politics and the International Economic Relations programs. Her educational background includes degrees from Northwestern and Johns Hopkins Universities and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which she earned her PhD in political science. Dean Gutner's research and teaching interests include international organizations, global environmental politics, and international political economy. She has been a member of the SIS community since 1999.

“One of my main goals is to work with other faculty and staff to implement changes to the M.A. degree that were recommended by last year's faculty-led task force on professionalizing the M.A. program and approved by the SIS faculty and Dean,” shared Dean Gutner. “These include creating new practica and professional skills courses for students. The school has experienced amazing growth in the past decade, and there clearly was demand to have one person focusing solely on the undergrad side, and another person working on faculty and graduate education issues.”

Dean Jackson joined SIS in 2000, and in his tenure has served as the director of American University’s General Education Program and the University College living-learning program. His research interests focus on culture and agency, international relations, scientific methodology, the role of rhetoric in public life, civilizations in world politics, and the sociology of academic knowledge, among others. His most recent major publication is The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations: Philosophy of Science and Its Implications for the Study of World Politics (Routledge 2011).

“I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to SIS full-time to take up this new administrative position,” said Dean Jackson. “Undergraduate education at a school like ours should be firmly rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, interdisciplinary to the core, and aimed at helping students become better intellectually equipped to think critically and clearly about the most pressing global challenges that we face.”

Also, he noted, “It should also be an opportunity for students to find their truest vocations, to discover their passions and to become who they are: citizens of a planet characterized by overlapping worlds composed of a myriad of complex relations that defy simple or simplistic summaries.”

Added Dean Gutner, “Under Dean Goldgeier's leadership, SIS is going through a great deal of change, all of which strengthens our excellence. It's an exciting time for me to be in this new position.”