Vice Provost Melina E. Hale (Ph.D. ʼ98) Announced as Next Dean of the College

Hale will succeed John Boyer, who has served as dean since 1992.

By Austin Zeglis

Melina E. Hale, a vice provost of the University and professor in the department of organismal biology and anatomy, will be the next dean of the College, according to an email sent to the University community from President Paul Alivisatos and Provost Katherine Baicker on Wednesday, April 12.

Hale will succeed John Boyer, who will continue teaching in the College and transition into the role of senior advisor to the president at the end of the academic year. The move will be made official on July 1.

“Melinaʼs commitment to a liberal arts education, renowned research and scholarship, and history of academic leadership make her exceptionally qualified to advance the College into the future, while stewarding our legacy of providing a transformative educational experience for our students,” the email said.

Hale received a Ph.D. in Biomechanics from the University of Chicago in 1998. She completed her undergraduate degree, a B.S. in Zoology, at Duke in 1992. Before joining the UChicago faculty in 2002, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the State University of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook.

A recipient of the University’s Wayne C. Booth Graduate Student Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Hale is also a member of both the Committee on Neurobiology and the Committee on Computational Neuroscience. From 2013 to 2016, she served as Dean for Faculty Affairs of the Biological Sciences Division.

In her previous roles, Hale has led projects such as chairing a task force to offer suggestions on enhancing the undergraduate STEM education through creative media and increasing institutional engagement among the University’s emeriti faculty. Hale has also spearheaded initiatives on campus pertaining to environmental research and sustainability, budget modernization, and administrative system improvements.

“Melina will oversee a strategic vision for the Collegeʼs next chapter. She will play a crucial role in upholding and advancing the Universityʼs and the Collegeʼs fundamental values, including our deep commitment to fostering a thriving intellectual culture that values freedom of expression,” the email said. “Melina will champion our dedication to rigorous inquiry and to developing in our students the habits of mind and character instilled by our core curriculum and a liberal arts education.”

The College Deanship Advisory Committee, chaired by professor of philosophy Gabriel Lear, facilitated the selection process.