University of Idaho Announces Interim Dean for College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Thursday, June 6 2013


MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho has appointed John Mihelich, chair of the department of sociology and anthropology, to serve as the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences interim dean. He takes up the post June 9.

Mihelich succeeds Katherine Aiken, who was named interim provost and executive vice president of the University of Idaho.

“I am pleased John has accepted this appointment as dean. During his term as chair of sociology and anthropology, John demonstrated leadership skills that will serve him well as the interim dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. I look forward to working with him,” said Aiken.

Mihelich came to the University of Idaho in 1997 as a visiting assistant professor for the department of sociology and anthropology. In 2008, he was awarded tenure. He served one year as assistant department chair in 2009 and was appointed department chair in 2010. He also serves as the director for the Alfred W. Bowers Laboratory of Anthropology at the University of Idaho.

He received the teaching excellence award in 2007 and was awarded the faculty fellow for excellence in teaching in the humanities program in 2009-10.

“The faculty, staff, students and alumni associated with this college have inspired and instructed me for many years,” said Mihelich. “I look forward to working and learning with them, providing support and drawing from collaboration across campus, the community, and the state to recognize and cultivate what we do well and adapt where needed to position the college for new leadership and a strong presence in the ensuing years.”

Mihelich earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s and doctoral degree in cultural anthropology from Washington State University. Before coming to the University of Idaho, he lived in Butte, Mont., where he conducted his doctoral research on the “Richest Hill on Earth.” His research and teaching at the University of Idaho focus on social class, religion, diversity and equity, gender, culture, and community. In addition, he is part of the social science research team for the UI Micron STEM Education Research Initiative.

“I will proceed with cautious enthusiasm, to use a phrase from my uncle, as I embrace the challenges and satisfactions of this opportunity to give back something of what I have gained in my time at the University of Idaho,” said Mihelich.

The university will begin a national search immediately to identify candidates for consideration as the university’s next permanent College of Letters, Arts and Social Science dean.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Big Sky Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.



About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.