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KU names new associate dean for humanities

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

LAWRENCE – A scholar with a track record of collaborative leadership and building innovative partnerships has been selected as the next associate dean for humanities in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas.

Paul Kelton, associate professor of history, will begin the new appointment July 1. He has served the university in numerous capacities, including chair of the Department of History from 2008 to 2013, senior administrative fellow at KU and executive committee member of the Indigenous Studies Program.

The position is a key administrative role in the College dean’s office. Kelton will supervise 14 departments and programs as well as the newly created School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures.

“Paul Kelton is an enthusiastic advocate for the humanities who also excels at creating solutions. As our departments seek out new ways to enhance their programming and enrollments, Paul’s guidance and experience will be of tremendous value,” said Danny Anderson, dean of the College.

As chair, Kelton oversaw one of the College’s largest departments, both in terms of faculty members and student enrollment. His contributions to the department included a successful effort to increase fundraising revenues, a continuing education program for Olathe Public Schools’ history teachers and the annual Pivotal Events in History public lecture series.

“The humanities play a crucial role in sustaining a healthy, compassionate and progressive society. I am honored to have this opportunity to work with so many talented colleagues to elevate the humanities to an even greater extent,” Kelton said.

He will succeed Ann Schofield, who has served as acting associate dean for the humanities since 2012.

Kelton arrived at KU in 2001. He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in history from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Tulsa.

His research examines the choices and actions of indigenous peoples and how they have shaped the fates of empires during the era of colonization. He has published two books as well as several articles and chapters on the effect of diseases such as smallpox on native populations in North America.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit, encouraging learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers.