Jean R. Soderlund, professor of history, chair of the history department, and co-director of the Lawrence Henry Gipson Institute for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Lehigh, has been appointed deputy provost for faculty affairs, Mohamed El-Aasser, provost, announced Wednesday.
The new post is one of two deputy provost positions created by El-Aasser, who officially stepped into the provost’s role on Nov. 1. The other new position is deputy provost for academic programs. The search for the person to fill that role will continue into the spring semester.
“I am honored to be appointed and look forward to joining Mohamed El-Aasser and staff members in the provost's office,” said Soderlund, who will move to her new role in January. “The position of deputy provost for faculty affairs offers many opportunities and challenges, beginning with the tenure and promotion policy, shared governance, diversity, and mentoring. As a department chair, I have focused on these areas and will work with faculty committees, individual faculty, and members of the administration to fulfill these goals.”
In her new role, Soderlund will work in close partnership with the deans, vice provosts and other university leadership and will serve as a liaison to ensure effective two-way communications between the provost’s office and Lehigh’s faculty and academic committees, El-Aasser said.
“Jean has been an outstanding contributor to the intellectual vitality at Lehigh,” said El-Aasser. “We are extremely fortunate to have someone of her talent and ability join us in the provost’s office in this capacity.”
Soderlund has served as department chair for six years and was co-chair of the Equal Opportunity and Harassment Policy taskforce at Lehigh in 2001-2002. She was recognized for excellence in teaching with the 2003 Hillman Faculty Award.
Soderlund is the author of Quakers and Slavery: A Divided Spirit; co-author, with Gary B. Nash, of Freedom by Degrees: Emancipation in Pennsylvania and Its Aftermath, and co-author of the U.S. survey textbook, American Passages: A History of the United States. She has also published articles on the history of women and is currently working on a study of the Lenape Indians in colonial New Jersey.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Douglass College, a Master of Arts degree from Glassboro State College, and her doctoral degree from Temple University.