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James Herbert Named Inaugural Dean of Drexel Graduate College

Interim Provost James Herbert will transition from his role as the interim provost into a leadership position for a brand-new initiative at Drexel.

A letter sent by President John A. Fry Friday, April 24, details the formation of the University's Graduate College with Herbert at the helm:

Dear Drexel Colleagues:

Our Provost-elect Brian Blake and I are very pleased to announce that Dr. James Herbert, building on his year of incredible service as interim provost, will lead the development of a new Graduate College at the University. This important undertaking will serve our goal of increasing Drexel’s focus on graduate education. Effective August 1, James will become inaugural dean of the Graduate College and also hold the title of executive vice provost, working closely with Provost Blake on a range of strategic and operational initiatives.

The establishment of the Graduate College was recommended by the university advisory committee on graduate education convened last spring by the Office of the Provost in coordination with the Faculty Senate. The committee’s conclusion was supported by an external review and site visit undertaken last month by a national leader in graduate education. I am grateful for the committee’s work, and I wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation. A heightened emphasis on graduate education — at the master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels — is essential if Drexel is to secure its place among the nation’s leading research universities.

James is the ideal person to fill this new role. He served as director of the psychology department’s Ph.D. program in psychology and was instrumental in building that program to a position of national prominence. He subsequently served in major administrative roles including associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences, interim head of the Department of Biology, head of the Department of Psychology and most recently interim provost. In each of these roles he has demonstrated outstanding and thoughtful leadership. He is an accomplished researcher and scholar, having published more than 150 scientific papers and book chapters and mentored 48 Ph.D. students. He has won a number of awards for his teaching and mentorship, is a fellow of several scientific associations and serves as associate editor of two psychology journals.

I am confident that James will establish the Graduate College as a force for innovation and excellence in graduate education. He and his leadership team will update the University community as their work proceeds. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating James on his new appointments.

I would like to thank Teck Kah-Lim, associate vice provost for graduate studies, for his dedicated leadership of the Office of Graduate Studies over the past decade. When Teck assumed this position in 2004, the office was staffed by a single part-time professional staff member. Under his direction, the office developed a strong academic mission and grew to support more than 120 graduate programs across the university. Among Teck’s signature achievements are the provost pre-doctoral fellowship program, the health insurance subsidy program for PhD students, TA training and mentorship programs, the establishment of graduate student policies and enhanced interdisciplinary collaborations. Drexel is indebted to Teck for building such a strong foundation upon which the new Graduate College can flourish.


John A. Fry