Honors College Welcomes a New Dean

June 16, 2021 - Kimberly Popiolek, College of Arts and Letters

Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters, will assume leadership responsibilities as Dean of MSU’s Honors College, effective July 1, 2021. The Honors College and the College of Arts & Letters each will retain their own status and identity as Dean Long is charged with working with faculty and staff to elevate the stature of both entities.

“The distinctive characteristics of the Honors College will be amplified under Dean Long’s leadership and I am confident that the College of Arts & Letters will continue in its upward trajectory as well,” said Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Exceptional personal scholarship, college-based accomplishments, and institutional leadership are the metrics of excellence that we seek for the future of MSU in each leader. I have every confidence that the exemplary commitment Dean Long has shown to advance the College of Arts & Letters will be extended in his service to the Honors College.”

A Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Long has served as Dean of the College of Arts & Letters since July 2015. Under his leadership, several advances have been made to raise the international reputation of the College, including the creation of the Department of African American and African Studies and the Center for Interdisciplinarity as well as student success initiatives like the Citizen Scholars program and the Excel Network. He also has established the College of Arts & Letters as a catalyst of innovation and collaboration at MSU through signature partnerships with the MSU Libraries to create the Digital Scholarship Lab and with the Broad College of Business and the College of Natural Science to create the Enhanced Digital Learning Initiative (EDLI).

“This work with and across colleges and campus partners will continue to serve him well as he takes on this new university-spanning role in the Honors College,” Woodruff said.

The Honors College supports and advances the highest level of academic excellence in undergraduate education across all disciplines, fostering scholarly potential, innovation, and discovery.

“Our leadership team in the Honors College will focus on enhancing the quality of the student experience, recruiting and retaining a wide diversity of high-performing students, and engaging alumni and friends in strategic philanthropy that will elevate our leadership position in higher education.”

Dean Christopher P. Long

“For more than 60 years, the Honors College has been a catalyst of academic excellence at MSU. I am honored to take on this additional leadership responsibility during an important period of transformative change,” Dean Long said. “Our leadership team in the Honors College will focus on enhancing the quality of the student experience, recruiting and retaining a wide diversity of high-performing students, and engaging alumni and friends in strategic philanthropy that will elevate our leadership position in higher education.”

A goal of the Honors College is to advance its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). And, in his role as Dean of the College of Arts & Letters, Dr. Long has demonstrated an action-oriented commitment to DEI as drivers of academic excellence, through his service as co-chair of the search committee for MSU’s inaugural Chief Diversity Officer, co-chair of the DEI Re-opening Task-Force Subcommittee, the establishment of the Department of African American and African Studies, the Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Initiative, and the Critical Race Residencies in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

In addition, since his arrival at MSU six years ago, Dean Long has raised more than $36 million in philanthropy for the College of Arts & Letters, most notably establishing 11 new endowed chairs and professorships across multiple departments. His intentional actions to elevate research in the College have resulted in more than $22 million in research awards, of which, Dean Long is the principal investigator for more than $6 million, receiving funding and support from organizations such as The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

“Building on the strong foundations established by former Dean Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore and Interim Dean Matthew Zierler, Dean Long’s leadership of the Honors College will focus on securing transformational philanthropic gifts for the Honors College; enhancing collaboration and engagement with honors education across the university; and attracting and retaining the highest performing, most diverse, and innovative undergraduates in the world,” Woodruff said.

Prior to joining MSU, Dean Long served as Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Education and a Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Pennsylvania State University. With a research focus on digital scholarly communication and the educational use of social media technologies, his research is rooted in a philosophical commitment to putting the transformative possibilities of dialogue into practice.

His extensive publications in ancient Greek and contemporary continental philosophy include three books: The Ethics of Ontology: Rethinking an Aristotelian Legacy, Aristotle on the Nature of Truth, and an enhanced digital book, Socratic and Platonic Political Philosophy: Practicing a Politics of Reading. He is cofounder of the Public Philosophy Journal, a project to create an innovative online space for digital scholarship and communication.