New Leader for Academic Affairs

Anne F. Harris,  vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College headshotOn July 1, Anne F. Harris takes the reins as Grinnell’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. Harris comes to Grinnell from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she most recently served as a professor and vice president for academic affairs. Over more than 20 years at DePauw, she has held various faculty and academic administrative appointments.

After five years as Grinnell’s chief academic officer, Michael E. Latham is returning to his home state of Hawaii where, after a national search, he was named president of Punahou School in Honolulu. Punahou is the largest independent K–12 school in the United States on a single campus, with 3,750 students and a global community of more than 30,000 alumni. Punahou is Latham’s alma mater, a distinction he shares with President Barack Obama. (See Latham’s “Strategy Session” column.)

As dean of the College, Harris will ensure that faculty have the support and resources they need to do their work of providing an education in the liberal arts through free inquiry and the open exchange of ideas.

She brings a stellar record of pedagogy, research, and administrative experience to help advance the College’s strategic priority as a learning liberal arts college providing highly effective and distinctive education. Her work at DePauw has been marked by leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion, academic program and community development, and financial stewardship and fundraising.  

Harris holds a bachelor’s in art history and classical languages from Agnes Scott College, where she earned Phi Beta Kappa honors, and master’s and doctorate in art history from the University of Chicago. Beginning with a dissertation about popular reception to the stained glass of Chartres in the medieval and modern eras, her research into the medium and its effects on perception and experience expanded to other media of the Middle Ages, namely ivory, alabaster, manuscripts, and wood. A prolific researcher and author, she has published numerous articles and juried and invited papers. She is a co-author of three articles and a textbook on medieval art history to be published this year.

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