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March 30, 2017

New Divinity School Dean Appointed

Religious studies scholar and Northwestern professor Laurie Zoloth will serve as dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School starting in July. President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier announced her appointment on March 28.

Zoloth is a Charles McCormick Deering Professor of Teaching Excellence as well as the founding director of programs at Northwestern University’s College of Arts and Sciences and in its School of Medicine. Zimmer and Diermeier said her scholarship in religious studies, especially in Jewish studies and bioethics, will allow the Divinity School to expand its reach.

“The University of Chicago Divinity School has a long history as a leader in the academic study of religion. It has an opportunity not only to expand and deepen this work in the coming years, but to bring this expertise to a much richer, informed, dispassionate public discourse on religion,” Zimmer and Diermeier said in a statement. “Laurie’s leadership in the field of religious studies, her scholarship in areas of Judaism and ethics, and her work on evolving issues of science and society make her an excellent choice as dean.”

Zoloth will succeed interim dean Richard A. Rosengarten, an associate professor of religion and literature. Zoloth told the University she looks forward to her appointment.

“The Divinity School is the nation’s leading institution for theological research and education, home to creative, honest and serious scholarship,” Zoloth said. “I look forward to listening, thinking carefully, and learning thoughtfully to help shape the future of the Divinity School, furthering it as a site of intellectual leadership in Chicago and around the world.”

Correction on March 31, 2017, 4:12 p.m. CDT:

This article initially stated that Zoloth succeeded Rosengarten, who was appointed in 2000. Rosengarten served as dean of the Divinity School from 2000 until 2010, at which point Margaret Mitchell became dean. When she left the position, Rosengarten returned briefly as interim dean.

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