Knapp Appointed Hopkins Dean of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Knapp will assume leadership of the school Sept. 1, succeeding Lloyd Armstrong Jr., who served six years as dean before becoming provost at the University of Southern California last year. Matthew Crenson, of the Department of Political Science, has been acting dean.
"Steven Knapp is a highly regarded scholar and a very able leader, with a strong sense of the importance of collaboration across disciplinary lines to the future of the liberal arts and sciences," Dr. Richardson said.
"Faculty and students in the School of Arts and Sciences will find Steven Knapp to be a dean with discerning intelligence, dedication to excellence, human sensitivity and calm temperament," said Joseph Cooper, provost of the university, who headed the search for the new dean. "He will be a dean who both leads and listens and we are fortunate to have attracted him."
Dr. Knapp, who has taught in one of the nation's leading English departments at Berkeley since 1978, said he became interested in the Hopkins position because of "the kind of institution that Hopkins is," a relatively small university with "an extremely distinguished graduate program."
"There's a lot that can be done in a place like Hopkins to help to define the future of higher education," he said. "That's not something I see myself as bringing to Hopkins. It's something I see already going on there. That's what makes me eager to contribute to the ongoing work at Hopkins."
A specialist in 18th and 19th century English literature and in literary theory, Dr. Knapp published his second book, Literary Interest: The Limits of Anti-Formalism, last year.
Dr. Knapp, a 1973 graduate of Yale, earned his doctorate in English from Cornell in 1981. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1978, and was promoted to associate professor in 1985 and professor in 1992. He has headed a number of English Department committees, has been the department's graduate chair since 1992 and was acting chair of the department for two summers. Had he remained at Berkeley, he was slated to become department chair this autumn.
Dr. Knapp's wife, Diane, until recently the manager of the Clinical Nutrition Department at Children's Hospital Oakland, now works at home raising their children, Jesse, 11, and Sarah, 8.
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