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Catherine Epstein named dean of faculty at Amherst College

The selection of Catherine Epstein, the William R. Kenan Jr. professor of history, was announced Monday by President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin.

“We will benefit from her wide-ranging intellect, her interest in the full range of disciplines and administrative functions at the college, her ability to listen and the clarity with which she sees and explains complex issues,” Martin said in a statement.

Epstein succeeds Gregory Call, a mathematics professor who served as dean of faculty for the past 11 years.

“Greg has been responsible for strengthening the academic quality of the college in every conceivable way, ensuring that Amherst faculty members at Amherst flourish during all stages of their careers,” Martin said.

As dean of faculty, Epstein will have responsibility for matters of academic policy involving faculty and will work closely with Peter Uvin, the college’s new provost.

Among immediate goals she has will be strengthening support for faculty research and teaching initiatives at the college, being responsive to faculty and staff needs, and working with faculty to enhance work-life balance issues at the college.

“Amherst has a strong tradition of faculty governance,” Epstein said. “I see the dean of the faculty’s office as a linchpin in that system. I will work hard to ensure that the faculty’s voice is heard on all educational issues.”

Epstein has a doctorate from Harvard University and has taught modern European history at Amherst College since 2000.

Epstein is married to Daniel Gordon, the interim dean of the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts. They have three children: Nate, a high school sophomore; Dora, a seventh-grader; and Stella, a second-grader.

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