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History Professor Appointed Interim Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill


Michael E. Latham, Ph.D., has been appointed interim dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) at Fordham University.

Latham, an associate professor of history, joined the Fordham faculty in 1996. He is a noted scholar of American foreign relations and 20th century American political and intellectual history.

“Dr. Latham is highly regarded by his peers as an accomplished scholar, superior administrator and supportive colleague,” said Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., senior vice president/chief academic officer and professor of natural science at Fordham. “He is a gifted teacher and an experienced faculty leader who understands and is deeply committed to supporting and promoting the University’s mission.”

Presently the chair of the tenure and reappointment appeals committee, Latham has worked on the executive committee of the faculty senate and the committee on salary and benefits. He brings more than a decade of experience in University governance to the role of interim dean.

Latham accepted the dean’s position following the departure of Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., who was named president of Manhattan College this week. Latham assumes his new duties on July 1, 2009.

“Fordham College at Rose Hill is a terrific institution,” Latham said. “It is not only a top-flight academic institution, attracting truly excellent students, but it’s also a place that has a profound sense of mission and a deep commitment to community service.”

Among his goals for the college, Latham said he aims to work collaboratively with faculty to strengthen opportunities in undergraduate research and international education.

“We’re an outstanding liberal arts college in one of the world’s great cities,” he said. “We need to promote and expand international opportunities for our students. It’s vital in any academic field, and vital in any career or profession that students may want to pursue.”

Latham also plans to further promote the Saint Edmund Campion Institute in the life of the college and augment integrated learning communities, unique programs in which students with similar academic interests share classes, living space and outside activities.

“I want all of our students to be aware of the Campion Institute and aspire to the level of academic excellence that would make them candidates for prestigious awards,” Latham said.

“Likewise, our integrated learning communities have been a tremendous success. That’s one of the things that Brennan O’Donnell put in place that he has done a fabulous job with, and that I’d like to see expand.”

Latham said he will continue to participate in academic conferences, and eventually hopes to integrate teaching into his duties as dean.

“I’m very happy in the classroom and, quite frankly, it’s been a real source of satisfaction for me,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to let go of it completely because I am constantly refreshed by our students.”

Latham earned a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, and master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Latham is the author of Modernization as Ideology:  American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2000).  His forthcoming book, Imposing Modernity: The United States, Development, and the Postcolonial World from the Cold War to the Present will be published by Cornell University Press. He is also a co-editor of two scholarly volumes and has written 10 articles that have appeared in respected journals and edited collections in the field.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Latham will be stepping up to the dean’s chair at Fordham College at Rose Hill,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University. “Having been the dean of the college, I believe Fordham will be well served by Dr. Latham’s considerable scholarship and administrative and teaching experience.”

Opened by Archbishop John Hughes more than 160 years ago and entrusted to the care of the Jesuits in 1846, Fordham College at Rose Hill was the first Catholic institution of higher learning in the Northeast. The college is located on the second largest green campus in New York City and is the academic home to roughly 3,334 undergraduates. The Jesuit tradition is characterized by excellence in teaching and by the care and development of each student.


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