From right: Aquinas Hall, the John Roach Center for the Liberal Arts, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library and McNeely Hall are all covered in stone mined by Mankato Kasota Stone Inc. (Photo by Mike Ekern '02)

Stansbury-O’Donnell Appointed Interim Dean of College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell will serve a two-year term as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) beginning July 1. Drs. Lisa Waldner, Jayna Ditty and Kris Wammer will continue to serve as associate deans during his appointment.

Stansbury-O'Donnell has been an associate dean of the College since 2015. He joined the Art History department faculty in 1990, following graduate school at Yale. He became a full professor in 2003 and has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses on Greek and Roman archaeology, and Near Eastern and medieval art and architecture. He received the John Ireland Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Teacher-Scholar in 2009, when he was also named Professor of the Year. Stansbury-O'Donnell has served in several administrative and committee roles during his time at St. Thomas, including chair of Art History (1993-2000 and again in 2005-14) and assistant dean of CAS (2014-15).

Mark Stansbury-O'Donnell

Mark Stansbury-O'Donnell

“I’m so pleased Mark has stepped up to guide us through the next two years. He is thoughtful, smart, a budget genius, creative, and - most of all - committed to the College of Arts and Sciences and the mission of the university,” said Victoria Young, chair of Art History. “I have no doubt he and our associate deans will be a rock for us all and that the great initiatives underway will continue.”

CAS Advisory Board chair Kelly Larmon is pleased with the appointment, as well, adding she “can’t think of a better person to serve as interim dean.”

As a scholar, Stansbury-O'Donnell is the author of three books published by Cambridge University Press, and of a recent textbook on Greek art with Wiley-Blackwell. He has edited another book and special issue of an academic journal, and since 2009 has been co-editor of the Wisconsin Series in Classics of the University of Wisconsin Press. He has held appointments as the Trendall Fellow and Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London (2010-15), and currently heads up an international research network on ancient pottery that holds a biannual colloquium at University College in London.

“Next year will be a challenge for many reasons, and that is true for higher education across the country,” Stansbury O’Donnell said. “I am optimistic that we can continue to provide a quality education to our students, but it will require creativity, flexibility, and grace.”

Dr. Yohuru Williams will complete his tenure as dean of CAS at the end of June. “Mark is a seasoned academic leader with the experience to help guide the college during this tumultuous period,” Williams said.

“My aspiration is to position the College to be stronger and more agile when we find a new normal, and to offer our students the education and experience they will need to navigate the changing landscape,” Stansbury-O’Donnell said.