Richard Saller, Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Kleinheinz Family Professor of European Studies, has been the dean of the largest school at Stanford since 2007, leading more than 40 departments and interdisciplinary programs ranging from art history to astrophysics. In August, he will step down as dean and return to teaching.
For many, it could be intimidating to lead a school at one of the premier universities in the world, with nationally ranked departments and scholars who have been recognized with Nobel Prizes, MacArthur Fellowships, and Pulitzer Prizes, among other coveted awards.
With the school’s wide range of academic fields covering the breadth of the liberal arts, Saller’s leadership style is one of humility. “This is a service job. The dean’s office is here to make the faculty and students better, not to dictate the future, because it’s altogether probable that the dean will know less about every academic area, except maybe his or her own field,” says Saller.
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