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Villanova University Appoints Jean Ann Linney, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Linney brings an impressive academic and administrative track record from major national universities, including University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Notre Dame and University of South Carolina

VILLANOVA, Pa., May 25, 2011 – Villanova University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., today announced the appointment of Jean Ann Linney, Ph.D., as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, effective August 15, 2011. An accomplished teacher-scholar with distinguished achievement in teaching, research and administration, Linney most recently served as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  This key appointment at Villanova is the result of a national search led by a committee of trustees, faculty, administrators, students and alumni.

“Jean Ann Linney was the ideal choice for this important leadership role at Villanova University,” said Fr. Donohue. “Dean Linney brings to Villanova a wealth of experience from major national universities.  Her experience, vision and breadth of knowledge make her the perfect fit to guide Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to new levels of excellence.”

Linney possesses an impressive academic and administrative track record from such institutions as University of Notre Dame, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of South Carolina.  In addition to her administrative experience, she is also an award-winning teacher and scholar whose research and expertise focus on the areas of community psychology, prevention science and the promotion of mental health. Linney brings a keen understanding of faculty teaching and research, as well as a demonstrated ability to recruit and nurture top scholars.

“The liberal arts are core to a Villanova education and Dean Linney is a passionate advocate and strong believer in the importance of a liberal arts education in today’s society,” added Fr. Donohue. “She also has a deep commitment to service, diversity, teaching and interdisciplinary collaboration – hallmarks of Villanova’s Augustinian mission and Strategic Plan.”

As Dean of Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the oldest and largest of the University’s five colleges, Linney will serve as chief administrator and chairperson of the College—which has approximately 4,500 students (undergraduate and graduate), 400 faculty, 130 staff members and an alumni body of 55,000. She will oversee an annual budget of more than $50 million and lead the College’s long-term strategic and academic planning, curricular initiatives, faculty research support, student services, fundraising, external relations and alumni services. In fall 2011, Villanova will introduce a new Liberal Arts and Sciences core curriculum designed to further strengthen its undergraduate programs.

"I am honored to become the next Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University,” said Linney. “The University has an impressive history, and I look forward to being a part of Villanova's future.  I have been very impressed with the caliber of the arts and sciences faculty and students. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with them to implement the new core curriculum, cultivate significant interdisciplinary initiatives and build on the foundational Augustinian traditions.”

As Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Linney established a new organizational structure for the College and developed interdisciplinary degree programs and research initiatives. She was responsible for integrating the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Education, School of Natural Science and Mathematics, and School of Social and Behavioral Sciences into a new College of Arts and Sciences incorporating 20 departments, 350 faculty, and more than 50 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs. Prior to that, Linney was Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University for two years. She also served as Professor of Psychology, Professor of Sociology and Director of Women’s Studies at UAB.

From 2004-07, Linney served as Vice President and Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Governance at the University of Notre Dame. She also held positions at the University of South Carolina as Chair of the Psychology Department, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Development, and Director of Graduate Training in Clinical-Community Psychology.

Linney earned her bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith College and her master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Illinois. She has published three books and her writings on preventive interventions with children and adolescents, environmental assessment, race relations and the effects of selected social policies on child mental health and well-being have appeared in more than 60 publications.  In addition, Linney is a member of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, past president of the Society for Community Research and Action, and a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova is the oldest and largest of the University’s five colleges. It was founded by the Augustinian Order in 1842 to provide an atmosphere of responsible learning to a diverse group of students called to intellectual, moral and professional leadership. The College seeks to promote intellectual curiosity and rigor within the University; to instill the fundamentals of critical insight, mature judgment and independent thinking in its students; and to awaken in its students a sense of the importance of values and the moral responsibility of caring for others and working for the betterment of society.

Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see