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Richard Saller, Dean and Diplomat, Prepares to Step Down

David Kennedy (left) and Richard Saller at a reception honoring Saller's service as dean of H&S. Photo by Misha Bruk

David Kennedy (left) and Richard Saller at a reception honoring Saller's service as dean of H&S. Misha Bruk

Richard Saller, Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences and scholar of classical Roman history, has been the dean of the largest school at Stanford since 2007. In that capacity, he has led more than 40 departments and interdisciplinary programs ranging from art history to astrophysics, including the Bill Lane Center for the American West. In August, he will step down as dean and return to teaching. The Center is grateful for his leadership and continued support of our research and programming. We are pleased to share with you a tribute to Dean Saller and his work for the university by Joy Leighton.

“With the school’s wide range of academic fields covering the breadth of the liberal arts, Saller’s leadership style is one of humility. ‘This is a service job. The dean’s office is here to make the faculty and students better, not to dictate the future, because it’s altogether probable that the dean will know less about every academic area, except maybe his or her own field,’ says Saller.

“University deans must wear three hats interchangeably: chief academic officer of the school, chief executive officer, and chief fundraiser. Saller is one of those rare individuals who wears this trifecta with ease. Across all three areas, he has been the chief diplomat par excellence with the school’s faculty, university administration, and donors and friends of the university.

“He is recognized at the highest levels of the university for steering the school through the recession and bringing it into sound financial standing; overseeing the development of the arts and science quads; and increasing graduate fellowships and professorships, which allow the school to recruit some of the best minds to Stanford.”

 

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