Dear Colleagues:

In her nearly two years as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Norma Bouchard, PhD, has worked to strengthen and balance the College budget, streamlined the College’s structure and processes, and served on key University committees, including Drexel’s Anti-Racism Task Force and as co-chair of the Fall 2020 Covid-19 Task Force. Now, she is leaving Drexel to take over as provost of Chapman University, where she will oversee the entire academic program at the 9,600-student private university in Southern California.

When Dean Bouchard departs for California in July, it will be a homecoming of sorts. She came to Drexel in September 2019 from San Diego State University, where she was dean of the College of Arts and Letters and a professor of European Studies. During her tenure at Drexel, Dean Bouchard launched an initiative to drive curricular innovation during the digital pivot last year and created and raised funds for a program to assist students during the pandemic. She was instrumental in developing the Environmental Collaboratory, an effort to tackle climate change anchored by the Academy of Natural Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Recently, Dean Bouchard launched a search for three tenure-track faculty positions in Africana studies, and has been working with the Provost’s Office to develop a multi-year hiring plan for faculty and professional staff in the College. This important work will continue through the transition and in collaboration with the incoming College leadership.

Replacing Dean Bouchard as interim dean will be Kelly A. Joyce, PhD, a professor in the Sociology Department with extensive administrative experience. After receiving tenure at the College of William and Mary, Professor Joyce served as program director at the National Science Foundation, where she managed two multidisciplinary scientific programs. She returned to the College of William and Mary, serving as dean of Undergraduate Studies for 11 departments covering the social, economic and natural sciences. During her time at Drexel, Professor Joyce has served as associate dean for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, interim head of the Department of Sociology, and director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society.

Professor Joyce’s research investigates the cultural, institutional and political dimensions of health, technology and science, including the intersection of aging, technology and societyCommitted to cross-disciplinary inquiry, she has collaborated with colleagues in the College of Engineering and Center for Functional Fabrics on the development of smart textile medical devices. More recently, she received funding from the National Science Foundation for work focused on the sociology of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and co-authored the article, "Towards A Sociology of Artificial Intelligence: A Call for Research on Inequalities and Structural Change."  

She is co-investigator of an NSF-funded award examining the role of labor unions in the transition to renewable energy systems, a shift that will have profound effects on the organization of work and population health.

We will be working with the College to develop plans for a search for Dean Bouchard’s successor.

Please join us in wishing Norma all the best in her future endeavors and welcoming and supporting Kelly in her new role.


John Fry

Paul E. Jensen, PhD
Executive Vice President, Nina Henderson Provost and University Professor

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