Dean of School of Interdisciplinary Studies resigns

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The dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) has resigned, according to an email sent by Provost Teresa Dahlberg.

Dr. Karen Steele, the first dean of the college, resigned after about two years in that position. In December 2019, Steele’s appointment was extended until 2023, with the option to renew that five-year term.

Steele will serve as special assistant to the provost for the 2020-2021 school year, assisting with the TCU Connected Campus plan, the Koehler Center and DEI initiatives, according to Dahlberg’s email.

The email said afterward, Steele will rejoin the faculty in the English department.

Dahlberg named Dr. Sonja S. Watson, the dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, interim dean of SIS for the 2020-21 school year.

She will lead a task force made of faculty, staff and students from the two colleges to create a “Unity of Vision” for SIS and analyze the relationship between the two colleges, according to the email. The task force is expected to provide the provost with a recommendation for the leadership, vision, structure and resource needs of SIS.

Watson will also hire an associate dean of faculty and diversity, equity and inclusion for SIS and AddRan, Dahlberg wrote.

In the email, Dahlberg said she has committed $50,000 in discretionary funding to Watson to support both colleges this academic year.