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New Dean of the Graduate School

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of Jeannine Blackwell
Jeannine Blackwell

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“Leading graduate studies at UK is an exciting challenge. This is a great school with 6,000 dedicated and gifted graduate students in more than 200 different programs and a vigorous, committed graduate faculty."

-- Jeannine Blackwell, named the new dean of the Graduate School

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June 5, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Jeannine Blackwell, a professor of German in the College of Arts and Sciences and the senior associate dean for academic administration of the Graduate School at the University of Kentucky, has been named the new dean of the Graduate School.

The appointment, subject to approval by the UK Board of Trustees at its meeting June 24, was made by UK Provost Michael T. Nietzel who cited Blackwell’s exceptional record of scholarship on German literature. “Dr. Blackwell is well known nationally and highly respected on campus for her many accomplishments,” Nietzel said, “and I am extremely pleased that she will be taking on this important position of leadership.”

Blackwell replaces Douglass Kalika, who has been serving as acting dean of the Graduate School since July 2001 and is returning to the faculty of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering in the College of Engineering.

“Leading graduate studies at UK is an exciting challenge,” Blackwell said. “This is a great school with 6,000 dedicated and gifted graduate students in more than 200 different programs and a vigorous, committed graduate faculty.”

“The Commonwealth has challenged UK to become a premier research university in the next decades,” the new dean noted, “and graduate education will be the heart and soul of that task.”

Blackwell was selected for the position following a national search that was led by a committee chaired by Carolyn A. Williams, dean of the UK College of Nursing.

Since coming to UK in 1985, Blackwell has also served as associate dean of the UK College of Arts and Sciences, acting director of Women’s Studies, chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and executive director of the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference that has been held at UK for 56 years.

Blackwell has bachelor’s (1971) and master’s (1975) degrees in German from Duke University and a doctorate (1982) in German from Indiana University. Earlier in her career, she taught German at Michigan State University, Oberlin College and Indiana University.

Her research focuses on German and central European women’s writings from the Reformation to the present and she has published extensively on these topics.

Blackwell has received Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships.

She was elected as the first President of Women in German, a post she will hold through 2004. Women in German is a national organization of 600 professors, graduate students and teachers of German and interdisciplinary German studies, whose research and teaching interests include feminist topics and approaches to German literature and culture.


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