March 31, 1994
Vol. 13, No. 14

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    Saller new Social Sciences Dean; Gossett reappointed

    Richard Saller, a noted classical historian, has accepted appointment as Dean of the Social Sciences Division, and Philip Gossett, one of the world's leading authorities on 19th-century Italian music, has accepted reappointment as Dean of the Humanities Division.

    Saller is Professor and Chairman of History and Professor in Classical Languages & Literatures and the College. He succeeds Colin Lucas, Professor in History, who has been Dean of the Social Sciences Division since 1993 and was recently appointed Master of Balliol College at Oxford University.

    "Colin Lucas has done a remarkable job leading the Social Sciences Division, and I am grateful for his service," President Sonnenschein said.

    In announcing Saller's appointment, Sonnenschein said, "Richard Saller is an exceptionally talented scholar and a wonderful University citizen. He has done a superb job as department chair, and we are fortunate that he has agreed to commit his considerable insight and energy to guiding the Social Sciences Division over the next five years. The Social Sciences Division is one of the University's academic jewels, and the Provost and I are committed to working with Mr. Saller to strengthen it further."

    Saller received B.A. degrees in Greek and history from the University of Illinois in 1974 and his Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1978. He served as an assistant professor at Swarthmore before joining the Chicago faculty as Associate Professor in 1984.

    Saller is a specialist in several areas of the ancient world, in particular the Roman family and household and the legal issues associated with them. He is the co-author of an important book on the Roman era, "The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture," published in 1987 and translated into German, French, Italian and Spanish. His other books include "Personal Patronage Under the Early Empire" (1982) and the "The Early Principate: Augustus to Trajan" (1982). Saller has also served as editor of the journal Classical Philology from 1990 to 1993. He received the University's Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1992. Since autumn of that year, he and his wife, Carol, have been Resident Masters of Woodward Court.

    Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in Music, the College and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, was first appointed Dean of the Humanities Division in 1989.

    "Philip Gossett is a prolific and influential scholar who has provided distinguished leadership to the Division of the Humanities," said Sonnenschein. "In the best tradition of the University of Chicago, he has also continued to make significant scholarly contributions while serving as Dean. I am delighted that he has agreed to accept another term, and I look forward to working with him in the coming years."

    Gossett received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1963 and his M.F.A. in 1965 and his Ph.D. in 1970 from Princeton. He joined the Chicago faculty as Assistant Professor in 1968 and was appointed Professor in 1977. He served as Chairman of Music from 1978 to 1984.

    He is currently general editor of "The Works of Giuseppe Verdi," a $3 million project by the University of Chicago Press and the eminent Italian publishing house Casa Ricordi that aims to publish a new critical edition of Verdi's works over a 30-year period. He is also general editor of the "Edizione critica della opere di Gioachino Rossini," published by the Fondazione Rossini in Pesaro, Italy. Twelve volumes of this series have already been published. Gossett has been instrumental in the discovery of many compositions, including the score of a lost Rossini opera, "Il viaggio a Reims." In 1992, Gossett worked with opera companies around the world in commemorating the bicentennial of Rossini's birth with presentations of his operas.

    Gossett's scholarly achievements have been recognized on many occasions. In 1985, he received Italy's highest form of cultural recognition, the First-Class Gold Medal for Education and Art, for his work on the scores of Giuseppe Verdi and Gioachino Rossini. In 1992, he was named an honorary member of Italy's Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna, which was founded in 1666 and is one of the world's oldest musical organizations.