Dean machine: High honors as Adelphi scores again

Brains of the operation: Adelphi University's brightest have a new academic leader, with Susan Dinan named dean of Adelphi's Honors College.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Add another rising Pace University faculty member to the roster at Adelphi University, which has plucked a Pace professor for the second time in a week.

Just days after naming Xiao-lei Wang, acting dean of Pace University’s School of Education, as the new dean of its College of Education and Health Sciences, Adelphi on Monday announced Susan Dinan as the new dean of its Honors College.

Dinan – who was a professor of history at, and then director of, Pace’s Pforzheimer Honors College – is set to take the reins July 1.

Adelphi Provost Steve Everett said the Garden City-based university’s search committee was “impressed” by Dinan, who was also the founding director of the University Honors College at New Jersey’s William Paterson University.

Steve Everett: Dinan brings innovation, inclusion.

Among her attributes: a “broad, inclusive view of honors education,” according to Everett, who trumpeted “the positive changes she effected in her previous roles.”

“I look forward to seeing her impact on the highly respected Adelphi University Honors College as it moves into its next chapter,” the provost added.

At Pace, Dinan is credited with uniting the honors colleges from that university’s Manhattan and Pleasantville campuses, including the creation of an honors-student residential community on the Westchester campus and a “more autonomous business-honors program,” according to Adelphi.

She has also “increased international opportunities for the 900 collective Pace University honors students,” Adelphi said Monday.

During her 10 years at William Paterson University, where she also served as a history professor, Dinan combined multiple honors tracks into a single honors college, working with 11 program directors to create an innovative college that ultimately doubled the number of William Paterson honors students, according to Adelphi.

Her new gig is a bit of a full-circle moment for Dinan, who began her academic career in 1996 as a history professor at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University (now LIU Post).

True to her progressive form, she later was named assistant dean of Post’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and then chairwoman of the university’s History Department.

Susan Dinan: Honors guard.

The new Adelphi dean earned a PhD in European history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, following a master’s degree in European history from the University of Illinois. She also attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.

At Adelphi, where she succeeds retiring Honors College founding Dean Richard Garner, Dinan’s mission is less about building from scratch than adding to a strong foundation – a new challenge she eagerly anticipates.

“I am honored to be asked to carry on the legacy of Dean Richard Garner,” Dinan said in a statement. “He has created a dynamic honors community that includes a dedicated staff, thoughtful and creative faculty who teach exciting courses, and a broad array of high-achieving and very engaged students.”

Dinan’s appointment is the latest in what has been a busy off-academic season for Adelphi – and no, not all of the Garden City university’s newly named deans have been recruited from Pace like Dinan and Xiao-lei Wang.

In April, Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, then dean of Ithaca College’s School of Humanities and Sciences, was named the new dean of Adelphi’s College of Arts and Sciences. And Andy Atzert, formerly the senior associate dean for external affairs and associate dean of administrative affairs at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies, is set to become dean of Adelphi’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies on July 8.