John Mercer named acting dean of the Graduate School
John Mercer named acting dean of the Graduate SchoolSeptember 29, 2001Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
John Mercer, professor of geography in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and associate dean of the Graduate School, has been named acting dean of the Graduate School by Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2002.
Mercer will succeed Graduate School Dean Howard C. Johnson, who has been appointed executive vice provost for academic affairs. Mercer and Johnson will transition into their new positions between Oct. 1 and the end of the year.
“John Mercer has been a well-respected researcher, graduate advisor and administrator at SU for many years,” says Freund. “Over the last two years, as associate dean of the Graduate School, he has been very helpful in strategizing the ways we can strengthen our Ph.D programs. He is the right person at the right time, and I look forward to working with him.”
“I look forward very much to serving in this new capacity in the Graduate School at a time when the University is implementing its Academic Plan, when the significance of the graduate experience is receiving increased recognition on campus and in a period marked by new intellectual and pragmatic challenges to graduate education and research across the nation’s universities,” Mercer says.
Mercer came to SU in 1980 as an associate professor of geography and became a professor in 1989. In 1990, he became chair of the Department of Geography, serving from 1990 to 1995 and 1997 to 2000. Previously, he served as director of graduate studies in the department from 1981 to 1989; and the department’s director of undergraduate studies from 1995 to 1997.
He was named associate dean of the Graduate School in 1999 while continuing as chair of the Department of Geography. At the Graduate School, his principal responsibility has been graduate program review. In fall 2000, he took on the administration of new graduate program proposals, as well as revisions to existing programs.
Mercer’s principal research areas are in urban geography, with particular interests in North American comparative urban studies, housing and the political aspects of urban development. He has researched and published on immigration and its impact on urban development and housing markets in Canada and the United States.
In addition to SU, Mercer has also held appointments at the University of Iowa (1969 to 1973); the University of British Columbia (1973 to 1980); and the University of Victoria (1989 to 1990). He has served as an assessor for numerous promotion and tenure cases in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and as a doctoral dissertation examiner for three Canadian universities.
He is the author or co-editor of three books and 40 journal articles and essays. His best-known work, “The Myth of the North American City” (with Michael Goldberg, University of British Columbia Press, 1986) won an award from the Social Science Federation of Canada in 1990 as one of the 20 best English-language books for the period 1940 to 1990.
He is a fellow of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, and was a recipient of a Lilly Teaching Fellowship and an Urban Studies Fellowship from the University of Glasgow.
Mercer is a member of the Association of American Geographers, the AAG Urban Geography and Political Geography Specialty Groups, the Association of Canadian Studies in the U.S. and the Canadian Association of Geographers, and was an advisory committee member for the National Council for Geographic Education on content for the National Standards in Geography. He has served as a referee for numerous professional journals and reviewed grant proposals for the National Science Foundation and the Embassy of Canada, among other organizations.
Mercer received his undergraduate degree with first class honors from the University of Glasgow in Scotland in 1964, and a master’s degree and doctorate from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1967 and 1971, respectively.