Except for the nuts and bolts metrics used by U.S. News in its annual college rankings (grad and retention rates, class sizes) all of the other ranking categories receive strong criticism from education writers and the academic community. A category since 2009, the high school counselor rankings of colleges’ reputations fly a bit under the radar. But the fact is, they do appear to have a curious impact on the rankings.
A recent, excellent article about the rankings on the websitePolitico argues that the counselor rankings rely heavily on “guidance counselors from highly ranked high schools, while many high schools in less affluent areas have few or no counselors.”
According the the Washington Post, the rankings do include “surveys of 2,200 counselors at public high schools, each of which was a gold, silver or bronze medal winner in the 2016 edition of the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings.” U.S. News also surveys “the largest private independent schools nationwide.”
This already elite group of respondents is even more restrictive than it seems: “The counselors’ one-year response rate was 7 percent for the spring 2017 surveys,” according to U.S News.
Using the nuts and bolts categories and reputation rankings alone, as in this recent post, and separating out the peer reputation rankings from the high school counselor rankings, we can see the impact the counselor rankings have.
Using a sample of 60 national universities that are either in the top 50 nationally or have at least 7 nationally rated academic departments, we found that the high school counselor rankings of private colleges were about 11% higher than those of university peer rankings of the same colleges. (Twenty-five of the schools are public, while 35 are private.)
The fact is, high school counselor rankings on the whole run higher than those of peer reviewers. But counselor rankings of public colleges were only 6.5% higher than peer rankings.
The main question at hand is, do these (few) counselors have more useful knowledge about national universities that peer reviewers have? Peer reviewers have a response rate of more than 40%; this much broader response rate (in absolute percentages and, almost certainly, demographically) should yield a more accurate assessment from peers. (Even more accurate would be the academic departmental rankings, but those are not included.)
Related questions are, how much marketing information do counselors receive, and do they receive a disproportionate share from private colleges? Do they tour private colleges more frequently? Peer reviewers are not without biases, either, but they are not recipients of marketing information from other colleges. Finally, do counselors rely more on…U.S. News rankings?
Again using the same data set we cite above, a side by side comparison of peer and counselor assessments reveals the following:
–Of the 14 universities that rose in rankings at least two places, three were public universities (21.4%) while 11 (78.6%) were private universities. (The percentage of universities in the sample is 41.7% public and 58.3% private.)
–Of the 17 universities that fell in rankings at least two places, 14 (82.4%) were public while three (17.6%) were private.
Below is a table showing the side-by-side comparison. Please bear in mind that the rankings are our adjusted rankings, not the actual U.S. News rankings.
The critics of the annual–and hugely popular–U.S. News Best Colleges rankings are vocal, large in number, well-armed with data, and mostly unavailing. Here is another attempt, based on the idea that the “financial” metrics used in the rankings distort the results. If Harvard has a zillion dollars, Harvard will have smaller classes than Mammoth State University with its meager funding per student. But why give Harvard credit for the zillion dollars and the smaller classes, when the smaller classes are the “output” that really matters?
So…the adjusted rankings below use the major non-financial metrics only: Peer assessment of academic reputation; high school counselor recommendations; graduation rates; retention rates; and class sizes. No acceptance rates or test score-related metrics are used. The impact of both are reflected in the output metric of graduation rates. (A separate post will discuss the curious disparities in high school counselor recommendations.)
Each of the universities on the list is in the top 50 in the 2018 U.S. News rankings with at least 7 ranked departments or has an aggregate academic department ranking of 50 or better across a minimum of 7 departments. The departments ranked are business and engineering (undergrad); biology, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, economics, education, English, history, math, physics, political science, psychology, and sociology (graduate level).
Therefore, even though department ranking data are not included in the adjusted rankings below, they are used as part of the eligibility requirements for inclusion.
Below are the adjusted rankings of 60 national universities, in the order of the adjusted ranking. Also shown are the U.S. News rankings for 2018 and the difference between the adjusted rankings and those of the magazine. We used data from U.S News for the categories listed above, with the same weight assigned to each category. All categories were then standardized and aggregated. After the first fifteen or so schools, some of the disparities are striking, especially for the last half.
Especially notable in the list below are the changes in major public universities.
Included here are institutions that were, at some point, ranked in the top 50 in those two categories. Some values are blank because in those years the magazine did not give individual rankings to every institution, instead listing them in large groups described as “quartiles” or “tiers.” The rankings shown for 1983 and 1985 are the ones that U.S. News published in its magazine in those same years. For all subsequent years, the rankings come from U.S. News’s separate annual publication “America’s Best Colleges”, which applies rankings for the upcoming year.
Editor’s Note: The following information is from the University of Arkansas Honors College. The college dean has designed the Honors Passport experiences, a capstone course abroad. “Honors Passport courses send honors students and top faculty scholars to historically and culturally significant sites around the globe. During these two-week intersession courses, each student much research and present on a historic site, monument or notable individual, taking an active role in teaching the course.”
Sixteen Honors College students recently spent a full semester preparing for study abroad in Peru, and landed in Lima well-versed on the Incan Empire, the Andean Hybrid Baroque and indigenismo.
Arkansas Honors Dean Lynda Coon and Prof. Kim Sexton, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
“The idea is to create an international capstone experience where students and professors together explore the interaction of contemporary and historical sites, texts, and artifacts,” said Honors College Dean Lynda Coon.
Honors College Dean Lynda Coon has launched a series of innovative honors courses since joining the history faculty in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences in 1990. She helped to create the Honors Humanities Project (H2P) and as dean she has developed Signature Seminars, Forums, Retro Readings courses and this Honors Passport study abroad experience. Coon’s research focuses on the history of Christianity from circa 300-900.
Kim Sexton, an associate professor of architecture at Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, specializes in the architecture of late medieval and Renaissance Italy. Since joining the Fay Jones School’s faculty in 1999, Sexton has taught survey courses in the history of world architecture, specialized courses on medieval and Renaissance architecture, and space and gender theory. Sexton is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Loggia Culture: Spatial Practices in Medieval Italy that positions the loggia or portico in cultural history.
Arkansas psych major Linh Luu giving a presentation at Santa Catalina, a Dominican convent in Arequipa, Peru.
Dean Coon and Professor Sexton have taught the second semester of H2P since 1999. They also developed Medieval Bodies/Medieval Spaces, an interdisciplinary honors colloquium that traces the evolution of western medieval history through text, ritual and built environments.
Editor’s Note: The following news is from the UT College of Liberal Arts.
New Plan II Director, Dr. Alexandra Wettlaufer
Plan II is pleased to announce Dr. Alexandra K. Wettlaufer as our new Director, following Dr. Michael Stoff who served as the program director for the past 11 years. Dr. Wettlaufer has been the Plan II Associate Director since 2005, overseeing the program’s senior thesis course and developing a deep love for the program and our students.
She is a Professor of French and Comparative Literature, specializing in 19th-century literature, visual arts, culture, and gender studies. A recipient of a 2014-15 Guggenheim Fellowship, Dr. Wettlaufer is currently working on a book project entitled “Reading George: Sand, Eliot and the Novel in France and Britain, 1830-1900.”
She is the author of three previous books: Pen vs Paintbrush: Girodet, Balzac and the Myth of Pygmalion in Post-Revolutionary France (2001), In the Mind’s Eye: The Visual Impulse in Diderot, Baudelaire and Ruskin (2003), and Portraits of the Artist as a Young Woman: Painting and the Novel in France and Britain, 1800-1860(2011). She has published numerous articles on Balzac, Sand, Baudelaire, Zola, Manet, Ruskin, Turner, Berlioz, Grandville, and Flora Tristan; her article “She is Me: Tristan, Gauguin, and the Dialectics of Colonial Identity” (Romanic Review,2007) was awarded the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Essay Prize, Honorable Mention.
Dr. Wettlaufer has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, ACLS, Bourse Marandon, the Clark Art Institute, and the National Humanities Center. Her teaching awards include a President’s Associates’ Teaching Award, the Blunk Memorial Professorship in Teaching and Advising, a Raymond Dickson Centennial Endowed Teaching Award, a Liberal Arts Council Teaching Award, and University Coop Award for Undergraduate Thesis Advising.
She is the Co-Editor of Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal and serves on the Editorial Boards of European Romantic Review, Nineteenth-Century Studies, George Sand Studies, and Dix-Neuf. Dr. Wettlaufer has also served on the Advisory Boards of the American Comparative Literature Association, Nineteenth-Century French Studies Association, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association, and on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association. Dr. Wettlaufer is a core faculty member of Comparative Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, and European Studies.
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for 2018-2019.Readers should nevertheless check honors websites to verify that the dates below have not changed.
Below is a list of application deadlines for 80 public university honors colleges and programs. Please note that some deadlines are fast-approaching, while a few are as late as the Spring and Summer of 2017.
If the deadlines are separated into categories (early action, early decision, regular deadline, priority deadline, etc.), we will list the deadlines for each category.
Alabama Honors: For University Fellows applications, the deadline is December 15, 2017; for other applications there is “no formal deadline,” but for housing and orientation purposes, the earlier the better.
Arizona Honors : Priority deadline is December 3, 2017, with notification January 21, 2018. Essay required. Note: This is a significant deadline change.
Arizona State Honors (Barrett): Early action deadline I- November 1, 2017 (notification December 15); early action deadline II- January 7, 2018 (notification February 16); regular deadline February 25 (notification March 30); late consideration, April 1, 2018 (notification May 11).
Arkansas Honors: November 1, 2017 for priority application; for scholarships, priority deadline is November 15, 2017; for financial aid, priority deadline is January 15, 2018, and final deadline is February 1, 2018; final Fall application deadline is August 1, 2018, but this might be too late for honors college.
Binghamton Honors: Priority deadline and common app by November 1, 2017; all application materials by December 1, 2017; priority decision by January 15, 2018. Regular deadline January 15, 2018 (notification April 1, 2018).
Clemson Honors (Calhoun): Priority honors deadline December 8, 2017, after meeting university deadline of December 1, 2017, with notification February 15, 2018; regular deadline March 1, 2018; after meeting university deadline of February 15, 2018; notification April 1, 2018.
Georgia Tech Honors: “Students who have been accepted into Tech as an Early Action Applicant will receive an invitation to apply for admittance into the Honors Program for the Fall semester of their first-year.” The early action deadline is October 15, 2017; the document deadline is December 1, 2017. Notification by mid-January.
LSU Honors (Ogden): November 15, 2017; notification mid-December, 2017, onward, on a rolling basis.
Macaulay Honors CUNY: December 1, 2017, including essays; notification of college choice in February 2018; notification of honors decision by March 15, 2018.
Maine Honors: Early action is December 1, 2017; regular decision (recommended) is February 1, 2018; transfer deadline is June 1, 2018.
Maryland Honors: Must apply by November 1, 2017, the university preferred deadline; no separate honors application; notification late January 2017
Massachusetts Honors (Amherst): Early action November 1, 2017, credentials by November 20; regular deadline January 15, 2018, credentials by February 1, 2018; scholarship deadline March 1, 2018. No separate honors application.
Michigan Honors: Updated info to be posted at honors side November 1, 2017. Likely deadlines: Apply to university first, then send honors essay; university early action deadline November 1, 2017 (notification late December); regular deadline for failed early action and others is February 1, 2018 (notification mid-April 2018). Students admitted to the university may submit LSA honors application essays and other information through early April 2018, but the earlier the better as space is limited.
Michigan State Honors: University has rolling admissions deadlines, but students should apply by November 1, 2017. Invitations are extended approximately 8 weeks after admission to MSU. Average ACT 32.
Minnesota Honors: Priority application deadline November 1, 2017 (notification by end of February, 2018); applications after December 15, 2017, all invited only after university acceptance on space-available basis only. No separate honors application.
Mississippi Honors (SMBHC): Early action November 1, 2017, notification December 20, 2017; regular deadline is January 5, 2018, notification by early March 2018.
New Hampshire Honors: Early action is November 15, 2017. Regular decision was extended from February 1 to March 1. No separate honors application. Double check website to make sure regular deadline is extended for 2018.
North Carolina Honors: Must be accepted by university first, followed by honors invitation. University early action deadline is October 15, 2017, with decision by late January 2017. Regular deadline is January 15, 2018, with notification in late March. Final university deadline is February 15, 2018, with decision by mid-April. Admitted students are automatically considered for an honors invitation, typically sent out within two weeks of admission to the university.
Ohio State Honors: Test scores, letters of recommendation, etc., by November 1, 2017.
Oklahoma Honors: University scholarship deadline is December 15, 2017. Final deadline is February 1, 2018. No separate deadline for honors college.
Oklahoma State Honors: Deadline for many scholaships is November 1, 2017. Final deadline is February 1, 2018.
Oregon Honors (Clark): Early action deadline November 1, 2017, with all materials due November 7, 2017; notification December 15, 2017. Regular deadline January 15, 2018, with all materials due February 1, 2018; notification April 1, 2018.
Oregon State Honors: Early round deadline is November 1, with notification by December 31; primary round deadline is February 1,2018, with notification by March 31, 2018.
Penn State Honors (Schreyer): (Schreyer): Priority deadline November 30, 2017, allows for interviews by end of January, 2018; final deadline December 20, 2018; notification by late February, 2018.
Pitt Honors: “We operate on a rolling admission policy and although there is no specific deadline to apply for admission, it is to your advantage to plan ahead and apply early.” The priority deadline for scholarships is December 15, 2017.
Purdue Honors: Priority deadline is November 1, 2017, for admission and scholarships.
Rhode Island Honors: Early action deadline is December 1, 2017; regular deadline is February 1, 2018.
South Carolina Honors: Preferred deadline for scholarships and honors college admission is October 15, 2017. Test score assignment to university and letters of recommendation, November 15, 2017. First round of notifications in late December, 2017. Final notification in mid-February, 2018.
UC Davis Honors: Application period for all UC campuses is August 1-November 30, 2017. Honors invitation after applicants confirm UC Davis as choice on May 1, 2018.
UC Irvine Honors (CHP): Application period for all UC campuses is August 1-November 30, 2017. Honors invitation after applicants confirm UC Irvine as choice on May 1, 2018.
UCLA Honors: Application period for all UC campuses is August 1-November 30, 2017. Honors invitation after applicants confirm UC Irvine as choice on May 1, 2018.
UC Santa Barbara Honors: Application period for all UC campuses is August 1-November 30, 2017. Honors invitation after applicants confirm UC Irvine as choice on May 1, 2018.
University at Albany Honors: Apply February 1–April 1, 2018, with reviews of applications in early March. Applications after April 1, 2018, on a space-available basis. Some advantage to applying no later than March 1, 2018.
Univ at Buffalo (SUNY) Honors: Early action by November 15, 2017, to university and provide all test results and supporting material by December 15, 2017, also the scholarship deadline. Regular decision is February 1, 2018.
Utah Honors: Priority deadline November 1, 2017; final deadline March 1, 2018.
UT Austin Plan II: May apply beginning August 1, 2018; recommended deadline is October 15, 2018, but final deadline is December 1, 2018. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are accepted.
Wisconsin Honors: First Fall deadline is November 1, 2017, with notification by January 31, 2018; Second Fall deadline is February 1, 2018, with notification by March 31, 2018. Honors applicants have 30 days to apply for honors after they login.
Editor’s Note: In a piece in the Washington Post, Georgetown University Professor Jacques Berlinerblau, author of the book COLLEGE CONFIDENTIAL, offered several tips for prospective students who want a good return on investment, smaller classes, strong teaching, and undergraduate research and mentoring. Below are his comments on honors colleges, and a nod to our own book, INSIDE HONORS.
“Honors Colleges: In many ways an Honors College represents an institutional effort to deal with all the deficiencies of American undergraduate education alluded to above. These units (here is a handy guide) are usually carved out from larger schools. They may possess a “war chest” which lets them lure high-performing applicants away from highly ranked places where professorial buy-in will be minimal. In short, these administrations try to identify the best scholar-teachers on the Quad (regardless of their politics), place them in small classroom settings, and properly train them and incentivize them to completely commit to undergraduate teaching. That’s what all colleges should be doing. And that’s what all parents should be looking for.”
It would be hard to find a stronger endorsement of honors colleges.
The website Quartz just published a list of the universities that place the highest number of grads at tech firms in Silicon Valley.
“The most coveted jobs are in Silicon Valley, and most selective US universities are members of the Ivy League. So it stands to reason that tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook would scoop up best and brightest from those bastions of power and privilege.
“Think again. None of the eight Ivy League schools—Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania—cracked the top 10 on a list of the universities sending the most graduates to tech firms, according to an analysis by HiringSolved, an online recruiting company. The company used data from more than 10,000 public profiles for tech workers hired or promoted into new positions in 2016 and the first two months of 2017.”
Editor’s note: The HiringSolve link also lists the 10 specific skills most in demand as of 2017, with changes from 2016. For example, the top four skills for entry level placement in 2017 are Python, C++, Java, and algorithms. The top job titles for entry placement in 2017 are Software Engineering Intern, Software Engineer, Business Development Consultant, and Research Intern.
Now let it be said that the 17 public universities in the top 25 are generally much larger than the private institutions on the list, so the sheer volume of highly-trained tech grads from the publics is much larger.
But the final message from Quartz was this:
“If the list tells us anything, it’s that admission to an elite university isn’t a prerequisite for a career in Silicon Valley, and what you know is more important than where you learn it.” [Emphasis added.]
Here are the top 25 universities for Silicon Valley tech placement, in numerical order:
San Jose State
UC San Diego
Univ of Phoenix*
UC Santa Barbara
*Hypothesis: hands-on experience and later degrees?
Editor’s Note: The following detailed Q & A is between editor John Willingham and Dr. Christian M.M. Brady, the inaugural Dean of the Lewis Honors College at the University of Kentucky, where almost half of the inaugural class is receiving full tuition scholarships or greater awards. Dr. Brady is the former longtime Dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. [Emphases below are added.] Please see earlier post, Kentucky to Open New Honors College with Gift of $23 Million.
Dean Christian M.M. Brady, Lewis Honors College
Editor: Can you say what the expected test score and GPA requirement will be, at least approximately at LHC?
Dean Brady: This year’s incoming class has an average unweighted GPA of 3.86 and an average ACT of 31.4. Please note that these figures are determined after the fact. The LHC does not use standardized test scores, but rather has an holistic selection process. The formal statement on the website currently reads*: “Applicants to the Lewis Honors College typically have at least a 28 ACT or 1310 SAT (M + EBRW) and an unweighted GPA of 3.50 on a 4.00 scale.” These minimums are not guarantees of admission to the program, but act as a benchmark for consideration. All applicants should be aware that Honors admission decisions are made independently of Competitive Academic Scholarships and applications will not be reviewed until a student has been admitted to the University….[A]n applicant’s essay responses carry a large amount of weight in the admission process….The deadline for submission of the application and all required documents is December 1.
*These minimum requirements are likely to change.
Editor: In what ways will the LHC differ from the previous honors program? In what ways the same? Will the number of honors sections be significantly increased?
Dean Brady: Honors was created at UK in 1961 and has taken on various forms in its nearly 60 year history. With the establishment of the Lewis Honors College we will continue the more recent progress of a university-wide honors program with certain key features. The development of a foundational course and experience that all Lewis Honors College Scholars will participate in, the expansion of departmental honors courses, and the strengthening of the honors thesis or capstone requirement. Students are also required to do 6 credits of “honors experience,” which can be accomplished via study abroad, service learning, and research. The LHC will have up to ten lecturers who will teach the Foundations Seminar and other honors courses through the relevant departments. We will also have two endowed lectureships: one in the area of organizational behavior and the other in entrepreneurship. There is a new Career Advising Center being created, with a staff of four advisors. There will also be five Academic Advisors. These new staff positions, along with other student programing positions, will all be in place by the end of fall 2017. Staff will be housed in the new Lewis Hall.
Located directly across from the WT Thomas Library and next to “The 90,” a dining and classroom space, Lewis Hall is one of three Honors residence halls and includes 346 beds. It also has over 20,000 square feet of office and meeting space, including four classrooms and a café. There is a spacious outdoor patio venue as well. One particular concern that I think will come to the fore is the commitment to helping students from their earliest moments on campus to discern their pathway forward. (E.g., they might have always thought they should be an engineer because they are good at numbers and like creating things, but they might actually be more of a business person. Or vice versa.) This will be determined and elaborated later in this semester, once we have the opportunity to meet with students and faculty.
Editor: What is the size of the class of 2021, and anticipated size thereafter?
Dean Brady: The incoming class is predicted to be 540 and our target is to maintain 10% of total student population, roughly 2,200 LHC Scholars.
Editor: What is your personal vision for LHC, building on your long experience at Penn State and contacts in the honors community?
Dean Brady: I believe firmly that every honors college and program should reflect what is distinctive and unique about the larger university community of which it is a part…. [W]e should also have a particular distinctiveness that reflects the Kentucky identity. This does not mean that we are regional, quite the opposite. The traits I have already seen in terms of work ethic, humility, and commitment to community are those that we should seek to inculcate in all students. Over the next 5 to 10 years we will build one of the strongest honors colleges in the nation. Founded upon the strength of excellent faculty, great breadth of offerings at UK (it is one of the most comprehensive research universities in the nation, with every professional school, aside from veterinary, within 1 mile of the honors complex), and developing men and women to understand and meet their own potential while benefitting their communities. As some have put it, “doing well while doing good.” The LHC will also become a standard within the nation and the world for innovation….With over thirteen years in the honors community, I look forward to working with our colleagues around the world to continue to learn from their best practices, develop exchange opportunities for our students, and help establish new standards for honors education. We will be submitting a proposal to host the [Honors Education at Research Univerity] HERU meeting in 2019 and I look forward to working with my SEC colleagues, many of whom I have already met through HERU and Big Ten conferences.
Interior view of Lewis Hall
Editor: What are the amounts and availability of merit scholarships, and do LHC students automatically qualify for university scholarships? Does the LHC offer its own merit scholarships?
Dean Brady: I am still learning where exactly all funds reside, but this is certain: the LHC has more than $8MM in scholarships each year. Almost half of all incoming students will have a scholarship at least cover full tuition. We are also preparing to enter into a capital campaign in which developing further scholarship and grant funds (for research, study abroad, and internships) will be a priority.
Editor: Can you tell us more about the honors residence halls and the LHC administration building?
Dean Brady: I referenced the new Lewis Hall earlier. There are also two other Honors residence halls, all built within the last 5 years, that are beautifully appointed with learning spaces for the students on each floor, ground floor lounges, and located next to the library and the new, $112MM Jacobs Science Building.
Another view of the Lewis complex
Editor: Can you tell us more about the size of the LHC staff and their assignments; are any staff dedicated to prestigious awards?
Dean Brady: When fully staffed we will have over 30 staff members including an associate dean for academic affairs, a director of academic affairs, five academic advisors, and up to twelve lecturers. We will have a senior director of student affairs who will oversee a director of career advising and 3 career advisors, a director of recruitment, a director of the Residential College (student programming), and an administrative assistant for student affairs and receptionist. We will also have a budget officer, director of communications, and a philanthropy officer.
Editor: What are the levels of honors completion and the semester-hour requirements for each level; is there a thesis required; is there a limit on honors conversions (contract courses?
Dean Brady: There are some adjustments being made, but the basic requirements beginning in 2018 will be:
• Total of 30 honors credit hours
• Writing, Reading, and Digital Studies/CIS (accelerated two-semester course)
• 2 first year courses + foundational seminar
• 2 upper level courses + directed elective (“Honors students must choose at least three credit hours in HON 301 [an honors ‘pro-seminar’] or departmental Honors sections outside their general discipline of study, including declared majors, minors, and certificate programs at the time of course enrollment.”)
• 6 cr Honors experience study abroad, experiential & service learning, research
Editor’s Note: The following post is from the University of Kentucky.
University of Kentucky provost Tim Tracy announced today that the former head of one of the most highly regarded honors programs in the country will be the first dean of the Lewis Honors College.
Christian Brady for 10 years — from 2006 to 2016 — served as dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University. Previously, he directed the honors program at Tulane University. At Penn State, Schreyer — under Brady’s leadership — raised more than $80 million to enhance honors education, developed a renowned leadership academy, and tripled applications to the college while also increasing selectivity.
Brady’s permanent appointment is subject to approval by the UK Board of Trustees. He begins his work at UK Aug. 1.
“In Christian Brady, we have someone acknowledged throughout the country as a leader in honors education, who at the same time, has maintained an active career as a scholar in his field,” Tracy said. “This combination of skills, background and leadership is precisely what we have been looking for in our inaugural Lewis Honors Dean. Our students and staff are excited about the potential of growing this program into one of the leading Honors Colleges in the country under Christian’s leadership. The Lewis Honors College, I’m confident, will quickly become one of the distinctive programs at UK, one that helps prepare students for what President Capilouto often refers to as lives of meaning and purpose.”
Brady is a scholar of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature. He has written two books and has a third one in progress. Brady also is the author of numerous scholarly articles and papers.
“It is a great honor and responsibility to be the founding dean of the Lewis Honors College. Honors education is not an exercise in elitism, rather it is providing UK honors students with an enhanced educational experience that will also benefit the entire university. Our goals are nothing less than building the best honors program in the nation and developing women and men who will transform this world in a positive way.”
In October 2015, the University of Kentucky received the largest single gift in its history — $23 million — from alumnus, longtime donor and successful entrepreneur Thomas W. Lewis and his wife Jan to create the Lewis Honors College from the previously existing Honors Program. The dean of the Lewis Honors College is a full-time appointment, reporting directly to the provost and serving on the Deans’ Council.
The dean serves as the academic and administrative head of the Lewis Honors College and is responsible for the leadership and administration of all aspects of the college.