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Welcoming Dean Norma Bouchard, PhD, to the College of Arts & Sciences


September 20, 2019

Dean Normal Bouchard, PhD, Drexel College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is delighted to announce that Norma Bouchard, PhD, has assumed her role as dean of the College, effective September 3, 2019. Dean Bouchard joins Drexel University from San Diego State University, where she was dean of the College of Arts and Letters and a professor of European studies for four years.

Prior to her tenure at SDSU, Bouchard was a professor of Italian and comparative literary and cultural studies at the University of Connecticut-Storrs for 17 years, where she was promoted through the ranks to professor; head of the department; co-chair of the graduate program in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies; and associate dean of the Humanities, the Centers and Institutes of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the five regional campuses.

As Dean of SDSU's College of Arts and Letters, Bouchard oversaw the university's largest college, which provides instruction to 87,500 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 2,500 classes per academic year. Under her leadership, the freshman-to-sophomore continuation rate increased to 91.3%, the six-year graduation rate rose to 78%, and student participation in study abroad was augmented by over 7.5%.

During her tenure, Bouchard created a college advising center, which became a beta tester for new technology and data-driven, targeted intervention; established the College’s first Office of International Programs coordinator role; and bolstered the offices of development and marketing and communication. She also established an advisory board of global business leaders to enrich the College’s undergraduate major in international business, a program that ranked 6th among public universities in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report, and 11th overall among private and public institutions in the 2020 report.

Additionally, faculty in the College submitted more grant proposals and received larger and more prestigious awards, including NSF and NIH grants, and Fulbright, Mellon, ACLS and Guggenheim fellowships. The College was ranked 15th in public research universities for funding in the humanities, according to the 2018 Higher Education Research and Development Survey.

Beyond her leadership and scholarship, Bouchard brings a welcome international perspective to the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a native of Italy who earned a master’s in Italian literature and a doctorate in comparative literature from Indiana University-Bloomington. Bouchard also graduated from the University of Turin in Italy, one of the oldest universities of Europe, where she studied French and German literature. She spent a year as a visiting professor at the University of Puerto Rico.

As an experienced dean with a strong understanding of the liberal arts and a proven track record of attracting resources, Bouchard is poised to rally the Drexel community around the College’s next strategic vision. She brings a deep knowledge of general education in comprehensive institutions, which will benefit the University as it looks to reinvigorate curricula for innovative and engaging core courses for all schools and colleges.

As the College of Arts and Sciences welcomes Dean Bouchard, we extend our deepest gratitude to Maria T. Schultheis, PhD, for her inspired leadership as interim dean. Please join us in welcoming Dean Bouchard to the Drexel community.