Trustees Approve Appointment of Dean Hardcastle

The 20th dean of McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, was welcomed July 17 by faculty, staff and administrators at Russell C. Myers Alumni Center.

Hardcastle, who officially begins her role on Sept. 4, 2007, comes to the college from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, where she was the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

She is a nationally recognized scholar in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Hardcastle's research has been focused on understanding the nature and structure of interdisciplinary theories in cognitive science, and developing a philosophical framework for understanding conscious phenomena responsive to neuroscientific and psychological data.


Dean Valerie Gray Hardcastle will officially begin her duties at McMicken College of Arts and Sciences on Sept. 4, 2007.

The new dean thanked those present for their "overwhelming" personal support, saying that she has received countless messages of welcome as she prepares to make Cincinnati her home.

Higher education is, "at its heart and soul, about relationships and relationship-building," she said. "I'm 100 percent ready to go."

University of Cincinnati Senior Vice President and Provost Anthony Perzigian told those assembled for the reception that the university "has appointed an outstanding individual who brings not only an extraordinary academic and research record but also a keen vision for the liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century."

"During the interviews she displayed an extensive grasp of the opportunities and challenges facing the college, and a keen vision for advancing UC as a major research university, especially as the university asserts itself through UC|21," Perzigian said. "Important, as well, she displayed a deep understanding of the importance of the breadth of disciplines that constitute the college."

Hardcastle's philosophy of leadership, Perzigian said, is consistent with what University of Cincinnati President Nancy Zimpher has been pursuing. "Higher education is fundamentally a shared-governance activity," Hardcastle has said. "The most successful initiatives are those created an overseen by a faculty-administration partnership. Engaging multiple constituencies takes time and effort but, in the long run, is almost always worth the trouble. "The final product is not only superior but, with it, one gains buy-in from faculty, staff and students at multiple levels. In a loosely coupled system, any significant, long-lasting change requires widespread support."

See video from the reception for Dean Valerie Gray Hardcastle


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