Dean Babula Retiring After 30 Years of Service

Thaine Stearns, Chair of the English Department, to Serve as Interim Dean

babulanew.jpgDr. William Babula, the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, has announced his retirement from Sonoma State University after 30 years of dedicated service, effective June 30, 2011.

His retirement plans include continuing his and his wife Karen's passion for travel and finding time to write his next detective novel. Bill will also continue to teach Shakespeare and creative writing through the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP).

"It has been a great pleasure for me to work with Dean Babula," says Saied Rahimi, Interim Provost. "His contributions to the University are many and I know his fellow deans, faculty and staff join me in expressing appreciation for his work."

Dean Babula has been a strong academic leader in the School of Arts & Humanities. As an administrator he was instrumental in the current GE reform in the School of Arts & Humanities, based on a 4-unit class model. He was also actively involved in bringing the first endowed chair to SSU, in Native American Studies.

He is a Shakespeare scholar and has had two books published. He has also written more than two dozen articles and reviews on Shakespeare and drama in various journals. He is also a prize-winning playwright with four produced plays and is the author of short stories and a series of detective novels. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and The Mystery Writers of America.

thain_stearns.jpegDr. Thaine Stearns, associate professor and chair of the English department, will serve as interim Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. Stearns has been a faculty member in the English department since 2003. He received his Ph.D in English (1999) from the University of Washington in Seattle, and held academic positions in Oregon and Wisconsin before coming to SSU.

Stearns' scholarly and teaching specialties are in twentieth century British and transatlantic literatures, in literary theory, and in visual culture. He has held numerous positions in Faculty Governance at SSU, including Chair of the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) and membership on EPC, the Graduate Studies Subcommittee, and the Senate Budget Committee.

Says Provost Rahimi, "I know you join me in thanking Dean Babula for his years of very dedicated service to Sonoma State University and his strong commitment to the School of Arts and Humanities -- and a welcome to Professor Thaine Sterns."

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