Langan to Step Down as Arts and Sciences Dean

Terry LanganDr. Terence Langan, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2011, will step down at the end of this academic year and return to the Department of Economics faculty in 2018 after a year-long sabbatical.

Langan, who also holds the McQuinn Distinguished Chair, previously served as associate dean of the college for six years and taught economics since 1990.

He is a native of Marshall, Minnesota, and a graduate in mathematics and economics from Saint John’s University in Collegeville. He taught for two years at St. Thomas as an adjunct faculty member while working on his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Minnesota before joining the St. Thomas faculty fulltime.

Dr. Richard Plumb, executive vice president and provost, said St. Thomas will conduct a national search for Langan’s successor. Rob Vischer, dean of the School of Law, and Dr. Victoria Young, chair of the Art History Department, will chair the search committee, with other faculty members to be named soon.

Plumb called Langan “an outstanding colleague and mentor” to hundreds of faculty members and thanked him for his 12 years of service as an academic administrator.

In a letter to faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Sciences, Langan said he considered it a “great privilege” to have served as their dean and associate dean.

His years in the dean’s office have been “very fulfilling years for me,” he said, and he always will remember “the many things that all of you and your departments have accomplished. … It is my fondest hope that I played at least a small role in many of those successes through the support I offered.”

Plumb cited three examples of exceptional work by Langan in the two years that they have worked together:

  • Collaborating with Plumb and President Julie Sullivan to improve compensation and the work environment for adjunct faculty members after they chose not to unionize in July 2014.
  • Changing the academic year at the Bernardi Campus in Rome to provide a core curriculum fall semester and January Term courses for all undergraduate students. Catholic Studies majors will continue to take spring semester courses in Rome.
  • Clarifying expectations for promotion and tenure with his faculty.

Prior to moving to the dean’s office, Langan chaired the Economics Department for four and a half years and served on the Educational Policy Committee, Fringe Benefits Advisory Committee, Budget Advisory Committee and various ad hoc committees. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at University College Cork in Ireland.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest academic unit at St. Thomas, with 23 departments, more than a dozen interdisciplinary programs and several affiliated centers and institutes. The college has 250 full-time faculty, 200 adjunct faculty and 40 staff members.

"I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the many colleagues in Student Affairs, Campus Life, Residence Life, Admissions, Financial Aid, Academic Counseling and Support, Personal Counseling, Career Development, the office of Global and Local Engagement, the libraries, Faculty Development, the Grants and Research Office, the Office for Mission, Institutional Effectiveness, the Registrar’s Office, Information Technology Services, Facilities Management, Business Affairs, Human Resources, Public Safety, Athletics, Institutional Advancement, Alumni Relations, University Relations, the Office of the General Counsel, Dining Services and Auxiliary Services (among other offices) who regularly collaborate with us in the College of Arts and Sciences," said Langan. "At the risk of stating the obvious, we in the College of Arts and Sciences could not do what we do without all of you."