Brandeis announced that Professor Susan J. Birren, will be the new Dean of Arts and Sciences today, taking over for Dean Adam Jaffe effective July 1st.

As the Brandeis Hoot reported, “Birren joined the Brandeis faculty as an assistant professor of neurobiology in 1994, having since been tenured and chair of the university’s Committee on Centers and Institutes, under the office of the provost. According to the search committee, all top candidates for dean were current faculty members, but Birren was chosen for her distinguished experience.”

The full text of the e-mail sent out to the Brandeis Community is included below.

Dear members of the Brandeis community,

We are pleased to inform you of the appointment of Professor Susan J. Birren, a distinguished scholar of biology and neuroscience, as the next dean of Brandeis University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

An internationally recognized researcher in developmental neurobiology who studies how developing nerve cells respond to the local environment to create the nervous system, Susan is affiliated with the National Center for Behavioral Genomics and the Volen Center for Complex Systems.

Susan is a distinguished scholar, an experienced academic leader and a talented educator. She has the wisdom to promote what is essential to each of the disciplines in the Arts and Sciences while working closely with each of the four schools, the different groups within the schools, and across disciplinary boundaries.

Susan received her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles and did post-doctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, where she studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of the mammalian nervous system.

Her interest in nervous system development is reflected in her teaching, which includes a course on developmental biology and an interdisciplinary course on autism and human developmental disorders. In addition to her research and teaching, she has served on several university committees, including the University Curriculum Committee, and as chair of the Centers and Institutes Review Committee, Oral Communications Committee and Brandeis Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

We particularly want to thank the members of the search committee for their efforts. The committee chair was Robin Feuer Miller, the Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities. Members were Peter Conrad, the Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences; Joseph Du Pont, dean of career services, Hiatt Center; Gabrielle Kaplan ’13; Sarah Lamb of Anthropology; Eve Marder[]’69, Head, Division of Science, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience; Charles McClendon, the Sidney and Ellen Wien Professor in the History of Art; Kris McKeigue, assistant vice president of the Office of Budget and Planning, and Daniel Schwartz, M.A.’10, Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies.

Please join us in congratulating Susan and supporting her in this vital role.

Fred Lawrence, President
Marty Krauss, Ph.D.’81, Provost
Steve A.N. Goldstein’78, Provost-elect

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