Dirk Early has been named associate dean of the Brown College of Arts and Sciences at Southwestern University. He will begin a three-year term in the position at the start of the 2008-2009 academic year. As associate dean, Early will be responsible for strengthening the college’s academic programs, helping set budget priorities for the college, and articulating needs of the faculty to the administration.

For the past six years, the college has been represented in universitywide matters by a “senior faculty representative.” The associate dean position evolved from that position and will include more administrative responsibilities. “Dirk is an excellent choice to serve as the associate dean of the Brown College of Arts and Sciences,” said Provost Jim Hunt. “He is an extremely thoughtful individual and I believe he will provide exemplary leadership in this position. He is respected by his colleagues within the college and I believe he is well-positioned to begin to foster cohesion and communication among the three divisions in the college. I look forward to working with him during his appointment as associate dean. I am certain that he will leave his mark on the future work of the University.”

Early said his four main goals as associate dean will be to assist faculty members in their growth as both teachers and scholars, to attract additional resources for academic programs and faculty development, to assist the Admissions Office in recruiting a high-quality and diverse student body, and to further relations between the faculty and the Board of Trustees. “Southwestern has given me the opportunity to thrive as both a teacher and a scholar and I hope that by accepting this position I can give back to this community,” Early said.

Early has taught economics at Southwestern since 1994 and is one of the university’s Paideia® Professors. He has received the Southwestern University Teaching Award and also the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.

Early received a Brown Research Fellowship in 1998, a Mundy Faculty Research Fellowship in 1996 and a Brown Senior Fellowship in 2008 to pursue his research on housing policy with an emphasis on homelessness. His research has been published in the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Housing Economics, Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy, and the Journal of Housing Research.

In 2006, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Early a grant to estimate the cost of housing across geographic areas of the United States. These findings will be used to adjust the official poverty thresholds to account for geographic differences in the cost of living.

A native of Ohio, Early earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He is the son of Gerald and Mary Early of Georgetown.

The Brown College of Arts and Sciences is one of two schools that comprise Southwestern University. The other is the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. The three divisions in the Brown College are the Division of Humanities, the Division of Natural Sciences, and the Division of Social Sciences.


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