University selects CCAS interim dean

Political science professor Lee Sigelman was appointed interim dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences earlier this month and has already begun working with outgoing Dean William Frawley to prepare for the transition at the end of the semester.

Frawley announced in February that he will be leaving GW at the end of June to serve as the president of the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. Sigelman will officially begin his new job on July 1.

Because his appointment is so recent, Sigelman said that it would be “extremely premature to lay out any agenda for the period in which I will serve as interim dean.” The dean oversees the Columbian College’s 400 faculty and 41 departments.

Sigelman currently teaches the undergraduate course Introduction to American Politics and is also the editor of the American Political Science Review, a research journal. He also runs a research program and works with graduate students.

In an interview last month, Donald Lehman, executive vice president for Academic Affairs, said the University hopes to have a new permanent dean in place by the first day of classes next fall. Sigelman said he will continue to serve as the interim dean until his successor is in place, which he thinks will be “perhaps next January, but more realistically the following July.” He will not be applying for the permanent position.

“I do not expect to have the ‘interim’ designation dropped from my title,” he said.

While Sigelman said that given the totality of his commitments he will be unable to teach his undergraduate course next semester – which he said is “too bad, as I greatly enjoy teaching PSC 002” – he will continue his other work, making his schedule next fall busy.

Sigelman started at GW in 1991 as acting as chair of the Department of Political Science until 1997 and as its interim chair from 2000 to 2001. He is a member of the Board of Trustees Task Force on Advancement, which deals with fundraising.

Prior to coming to GW, Sigelman served as the dean of social and behavioral sciences at the University of Arizona.

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