Dr. Elizabeth Dunn named interim dean of College of Arts & Sciences

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University President Dr. Jon E. Quistgaard today announced that Dr. Elizabeth Dunn has been named interim dean of the University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Dunn’s one-year appointment begins on Wednesday, Sept. 3.

“I am very happy that Elizabeth has accepted the position of interim dean,” Dr. Nancy Erickson, interim vice president for academic affairs, said. “She has an expansive background and experience with many different faculty members and groups on campus, and has a great deal of organizational understanding and interpersonal skills. Elizabeth is a scholar. She understands working with people and groups and she has advocated for our faculty. She’ll bring a variety of talents into this position as we move forward with putting liberal education in place and our Higher Learning Commission visit and college reorganization process.”

“In accepting the position of interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, my motivation is to support the work of the faculty and students of Bemidji State while broadening my service to the community outside the university,” Dunn said. “I am committed to strong majors throughout the college as well as delivery of an excellent liberal education program and outreach to multiple constituencies.”

Dunn has been a member of the faculty at Bemidji State University since 1999. She joined the University in 1999 as an assistant professor in the history department, teaching early America and American intellectual history. She was promoted to associate professor in 2003, and was the interim chair of the Department of History in 2003-04. She chaired the department from 2004-06, and in 2006 was promoted to full professor. Dunn also has been the director of Bemidji State’s Center for Professional Development since 2005.

She has been heavily involved in the campus community, serving as president of the Bemidji State University Faculty Association since 2006. The BSUFA is the local chapter of the Inter Faculty Organization, a state-wide collective bargaining unit for university faculty in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. She was vice president of the organization from 2004-06. Dunn also has been the secretary and a member of the board of Bemidji State’s Inter Faculty Association since 2006, and was a member of the negotiating team for its personnel committee in 2007-08.

Dunn is also co-chairing Bemidji State’s 10-Year Higher Learning Commission Self Study for University Reaccreditation, and was appointed as a peer reviewer by the Higher Learning Commission this year.

Prior to arriving in Bemidji, Dunn spent five years as an assistant professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and four years as an assistant professor at Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, Ala. She was a visiting lecturer at Eastern Illinois University in the fall of 1989 and at the University of Illinois in 1988-89.

Dunn earned her bachelor of arts degrees from Purdue University in 1981 and her master of arts in American studies from Purdue in 1983. She earned her doctorate degree in American history from the University of Illinois in 1990.