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Vice Chancellor Freund announces new distinguished, Trustee and University Professorship appointments
Vice Chancellor Freund announces new distinguished, Trustee and University Professorship appointmentsApril 12, 2005Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund has announced this year’s University, Distinguished and Trustee Professorships, describing the newly appointed professors as faculty members who have wholeheartedly embraced the challenges of their professional interests and fields of study. Says Freund, “These scholars personify excellence in research, teaching and creativity and reflect the level of scholarship to which this University aspires.”
Recipients of this year’s professorships are Cecil Abrahams, Visiting University Professor in the School of Education and The College of Arts and Sciences; Mary Karr, Trustee Professor in The College of Arts and Sciences; and Rosemary O’Leary, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. This year’s recipients will be recognized formally by the Vice Chancellor during her State of the University address, to be presented in the fall.
Cecil AbrahamsVisiting University Professor
As Visiting University Professor, Cecil Abrahams teaches in the School of Education’s Cultural Foundations of Education program and in the English department of The College of Arts and Sciences. A native of South Africa, Abrahams served as rector and vice chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, from 1995-2000. He also was provost and vice president at Acadia University in Canada and dean of humanities of Brock University in Canada.
Born in South Africa, Abrahams was a vocal opponent of the apartheid system and spent a long period in exile in Canada, where he was active in marshaling international opposition. Abrahams obtained his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Alberta and holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University at Albany and Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the Universite de la Reunion in France. He completed his early and undergraduate education in South Africa.
“Professor Abrahams has brought extraordinarily rich resources to his students,” says Associate Professor John Briggs, chair of the Cultural Foundations of Education department. “His prodigious scholarship on African literature has established him as an international authority.”
Briggs adds that Abrahams’ courses in comparative international higher education and social understanding through literature are deeply informed by his uniquely rich career.
Abrahams has published several books and more than 150 articles and book chapters in journals and books around the world.
“Dr. Abrahams is an educator of international reputation. He played a singular role in creating the field of African literature at North American universities,” says Joel Glassman, associate provost for academic affairs and director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “At the University of Missouri, we were grateful that he chose to spend several years on our faculty. And now, Syracuse University is fortunate to have him join its faculty.”
Mary KarrTrustee Professor
Mary Karr, Trustee Professor of Literature in The College of Arts and Sciences, won national acclaim with the release of her memoir, “The Liars’ Club” (Viking Adult, 1995). The memoir, based on her East Texas childhood, won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for best biography/autobiography. “The Liars’ Club” was selected as one of the best books of 1995 by dozens of periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Time, People and Entertainment Weekly. “Cherry” (Viking Press, 2000), her follow-up to “The Liar’s Club,” was a bestseller for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle, and was named Best Book of 2000 by Entertainment Weekly, Us, and Amazon.com. A third memoir, “Tropic of Squalor,” is forthcoming.
Karr also has authored four collections of poetry, including “Viper Rum” (New Directions Publishing, 1998) and “The Devil’s Tour” (New Directions, 1993) and recently was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Her poems and essays have won Pushcart prizes and have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and Parnassus.
“Mary Karr, as one of the nation’s most illustrious poets and memoirists, is so richly deserving of this honor,” says Cathryn R. Newton, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences.
Rosemary O’LearyDistinguished Professor
An enduring theme in the study of public administration is the relationship between elected and appointed political officials and the professional civil service, and Rosemary O’Leary has made the study of this theme central to her academic career. She is an esteemed scholar, exceptional teacher and wonderful colleague, highly regarded by her peers, and one of the leading scholars in the field of public administration.
“Through path-breaking and painstaking research, Rosemary largely created the field of study analyzing the intersection of environmental policy implementation, environmental law and public management,” says David H. Rosenbloom, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at American University. Rosenbloom, a former Maxwell professor, was O’Leary’s Ph.D. dissertation advisor and they co-authored a book, “Public Administration and Law” (second edition, Marcel Dekker, 1997).
“She is among the most creative and very top scholars in public administration and has had a major impact on the field,” he says.
O’Leary is the author or editor of six books and more than 75 articles on public management and public policy, she has won seven national research awards, and her research has been funded by the Hewlett Foundation, the International City/County Management Association, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Bar Association. O’Leary weaves her knowledge of the law, especially administrative law, into carefully crafted research that is based on comparative case studies of court decisions. An excellent example is her book, “Environmental Change: Federal Courts and the EPA” (Temple University Press, 1993).
She is a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Return to Flight Task Group, which was assembled in response to the Columbia space shuttle accident. She is also a member of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel.