College of the Liberal Arts appoints associate deans

July 08, 2013

Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts has named Christopher Long, associate dean for undergraduate studies, to the position of associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education. In addition, Eric Silver, professor of sociology and criminology and associate head of the department, has been named associate dean for research.  

Long and Silver assume the responsibilities formerly held by Denise Solomon, associate dean for research and graduate studies, who returns to full-time teaching and research in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences after completing her five-year term. 

"Denise has done a superb job of managing and helping to grow our research portfolio, increasing the college’s resources to support graduate students, and refining processes and programs to recruit, educate, and help place in jobs, our master’s and Ph.D. graduates,’’ said Susan Welch, the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. “I know that Chris and Eric will provide leadership to continue our tremendous momentum in graduate education and research. Eric will also work with faculty to develop further opportunities for undergraduate research too.”

“Chris brings considerable administrative experience to his new role in graduate education. He has been an innovator in blending new technology with undergraduate learning and research,” she added. ``Eric is an outstanding teacher and a highly productive scholar, and he has served as associate department head since 2009. His experiences will serve our faculty and students well in his new role.”

As professor of philosophy and classical studies, Long focuses his teaching and research on ancient Greek philosophy, 20th-century continental philosophy, critical theory, and social/political philosophy. For more than decade, he has been a leader in using social media technologies to cultivate communities of learning and research in philosophy and the digital humanities. In addition to his two published books, "The Ethics of Ontology: Rethinking an Aristotelian Legacy" (2004:  State University of New York Press), and "Aristotle On the Nature of Truth" (2010: Cambridge University Press), Long has a third book in press with Cambridge titled "Socratic and Platonic Political Philosophy: Practicing the Politics of Reading."

Long earned his bachelor of arts at Wittenberg University and masters of art and doctorate degrees from the New School of Social Research in New York City. He joined Penn State in 2004 and served as director of graduate studies from 2005 to 2010 when he became associate dean for undergraduate studies.

“Graduate and undergraduate education are deeply interconnected. Graduate students play important teaching and mentoring roles for undergraduates and they often supervise undergraduates in faculty research projects.” said Long.

In addition to taking a more integrated approach to undergraduate and graduate education in the college, he intends to bring his experience in digital pedagogy and scholarship to his new role. Chris shares some of his ideas on the liberal arts undergraduate studies blog.

“New forms of digital scholarship are transforming higher education in unanticipated and often unsettling ways,” said Long, “By drawing on our tradition of excellent graduate education in the humanities and social sciences at Penn State, we are well positioned to lead rather than simply to react to these innovative new modes of scholarship.”

In his new role as associate dean of research, Silver anticipates working closely with center directors, department heads, and tenure-line faculty in both the social sciences and the humanities to expand the college’s already impressive research portfolio in ways that build on the passions and interests of a highly talented faculty.

Silver earned bachelor of arts, masters of arts and doctorate degrees, from the State University of New York at Albany. He joined Penn State in 1999 as an assistant professor and became a full professor in 2010. For 11 years prior to joining Penn State, Silver was a senior data analyst at Policy Research Associates, Inc., a private research firm specializing in large-scale, interdisciplinary, federally funded and foundation-funded social science research. He received two early career awards for his interdisciplinary work on the relationship between violence and mental illness; one from the American Society of Criminology and one from the American Psychology-Law Society.

He co-authored the Oxford University Press book, "Rethinking Risk Assessment," which won the American Psychiatric Association’s 2002 Manfred Guttmacher Award. Silver has published over 50 journal articles focusing on the causes and consequences of violence and other types of deviant behavior. He is currently working with graduate student, Leslie Abell, on a research project examining the relationship between morality and deviant behavior among college students.

Silver is widely recognized as an outstanding teacher who was recently selected as the inaugural recipient of The Malvin and Lea Bank Outstanding Teaching Award for the College of the Liberal Arts. He has been associate department head in sociology since 2009 and before that, was director of graduate studies in crime, law, and justice.

“For the college’s research enterprise to continue to grow and flourish the college’s research office must provide world class service in the areas of pre- and post-award grants management and faculty mentoring,” Silver said. “More important, however, the college must continue to discover new and innovative ways to nurture and sustain a local culture that encourages faculty to produce field-altering scholarship and, whenever possible, to seek out external funding for their work.”


  • Christopher Long

    Christopher Long, associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education, College of the Liberal Arts

    IMAGE: Liberal Arts
  • Eric Silver, Professor of Sociology and Criminology

    Eric Silver, Associate Dean for Research, College of the Liberal Arts

    IMAGE: Penn State
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Last Updated January 09, 2015