Upon the recommendation of Provost-Designate Jeffrey Hecker, University of Maine President Paul W. Ferguson has named Naomi Jacobs as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, effective Sept. 1, 2013. Jacobs, a professor of English, has been appointed to a one-year term, with a national search to begin this academic year.
Hecker, who was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences prior to his appointment as provost earlier this month, said Jacobs is the ideal person to lead the college in the coming year. “I am very pleased that Naomi is willing to move into the dean position on such short notice,” he said. “Naomi is an innovative and savvy administrator who was tremendously successful as chair of the English Department. She has the confidence of the college’s leadership team and faculty.”
Jacobs noted that “almost every student who graduates from the University of Maine has gained knowledge, insights and skills through classes taken in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It is an honor to have the opportunity to oversee the college’s talented faculty and staff during this transitional period, and to continue work on the exciting initiatives begun under Dean Hecker’s leadership.”
President Ferguson added, “It is a pleasure to have Naomi join the UMaine leadership team. She brings substantive experience and wisdom to our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at a time when this college is an integral partner in defining and implementing our 21st-century vision and mission.”
Jacobs has been a UMaine faculty member since 1982 and served as chair of the Department of English from 2007–12. She received a Ph.D. in the theory and history of the novel and an M.A. in English literature, both from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1982 and 1977, respectively. Her B.A. in English literature in 1975 is from Luther College, where she was a National Merit Scholar.
Jacobs’ research focuses on utopian literature, women’s literature and the novel. She is the co-editor and author of two books and numerous journal articles, and has presented regionally, nationally and internationally on her research. Her long-time leadership in the Society for Utopian Studies included serving as president from 1998–2002.