Boyer appointed to second term
Strengthened College provides new opportunities for students As he looks toward his second five-year term as Dean of the College, John Boyer describes the past four and a half years as "an extremely exciting and promising period in the College's history" and hopes that the university community "will continue to support the efforts of the College faculty to strengthen what is truly distinctive and great about our institution."
Boyer, the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History, was recently reappointed to a second term as Dean of the College by President Sonnenschein, effective July 1.
During Boyer's tenure, enrollment in the College has grown to more than 3,600 students, and applications increased to more than 5,500 last year. The College faculty has approved the development of a number of new educational programs, including new College concentrations in Computer Science, in Jewish Studies and in Cinema & Media Studies. In addition, working with the Humanities and Social Sciences divisions, the College has supported the organization of a new Center for Gender Studies. Many new research and internship programs have also been set in place during Boyer's first term, including an innovative series of summer internships at the Smithsonian Institution and in various federal agencies in Washington, D.C.
Has this been enough for Boyer?
"No. We have made good progress, but one can never stand still, because the College needs and deserves all of support it can muster on behalf of its students and faculty," he said. "My job is to continue to work aggressively on behalf of the College, and especially our students, just as we have done in the past half-decade."
One event in the past five years has a special significance for Boyer.
"Early in my first term, I was able to present to our Visiting Committee two College seniors who had undertaken new international summer research internships, one in China, the other in Russia," he said. "As I listened with considerable pride to them describing their incredible experiences, I thought to myself that this combination of intellectual zest and personal moxie defined what was best about our College students. These were -- and are -- the kinds of students whom I want the College to empower and to encourage to take on the world."
Boyer has set numerous goals for the College in his second term, with increasing opportunities for College students heading the list.
"I want to substantially increase the research and internship possibilities for our students, both in Chicago and nationwide," he said. "I also want to work closely with Chris Love, the new alumni director, and the various alumni clubs. I want not only to get them more involved in aspects of College life, but also to help build even more internship possibilities with alumni inside and outside the Chicago area.
"I want to increase the range of intensive foreign language programs and opportunities for our students. I would love to see every student have the chance to spend at least one quarter studying abroad. We may be closer to that than we think.
"I want to continue to work to provide support for the College Fund," he said. "I am most proud of our work in supporting Major Gifts & Development for the College. I've said this before and I'll say it again: My goal over the next six years is to add a substantial number of named chairs for distinguished faculty members in the College.
"I want to continue the fine work that we have begun over the past several years in strengthening the College's curriculum. My goal has been -- and will remain -- to sustain the longstanding Chicago traditions of careful thought and debate about our unique curriculum, and of the faculty's commitment to translating its ideals into successful practice in the classroom."
"Finally, I want to see our students' extracurricular opportunities continue to expand and develop, especially in ways that involve them in the exuberant life of the city of Chicago, a truly great city and my home town. I am especially pleased that the groundbreaking and construction of the new Athletics Center will happen in the next five years."
Before being named Dean of the College in 1992, Boyer served as Master of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division and Deputy Dean of the Social Sciences Division. He has been Chairman of the Committee on European Studies, of the Western Civilization teaching staff and, since 1986, of the Council on Advanced Studies in the Humanities & Social Sciences.
He is an expert in modern central European history with an emphasis on 19th-century Austria. He is the author of Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement, 1848-1897 (1981) and Culture and Political Crisis in Vienna, 1897-1918 (1995). He is the co-editor, with Jan Goldstein, of Nineteenth Century Europe: Liberalism and Its Critics and Twentieth Century Europe, both volumes in the Readings in Western Civilization series published by the Press in 1987. He joined the Chicago faculty after receiving his A.M. in 1969 and his Ph.D. in 1975, both from Chicago.
-- Jeff Makos