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Widener names new dean for College of Arts and Sciences

David LeamanWidener University has named David E. Leaman, Ph.D. dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He will assume his new position on July 1, 2018.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Leaman to Widener University,” said President Julie Wollman.  “His strong background and extensive experience makes him an excellent choice to lead the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a dedicated, proven leader who will enhance the Widener community and further our strong commitment to academic excellence, student engagement, diversity and global perspectives and career preparation.”

Leaman comes to Widener from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he has been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2014.

While at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Leaman was responsible for the supervision of 26 departments and programs and approximately 300 faculty and staff. He also previously served in administrative roles at Northeastern Illinois University as an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of political science.

“I am delighted to join the Widener team as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” Leaman said. “I was impressed by how faculty and students at Widener University embrace the values of civic engagement and applied learning. I want to support Widener students as they pursue global learning experiences, faculty-student collaborative research, hands-on internships and co-ops, and leadership opportunities because these are the types of experiences that changed my life as an undergraduate. Finally, I look forward to working with Widener’s excellent, creative and dedicated Arts and Sciences faculty.”

On top of his experience in higher education leadership, Leaman brings to Widener impressive international teaching and research experience. He has extensive experience in the politics of globalization and comparative politics, having lived, traveled and studied throughout the world, particularly in Latin America. He also has taught and researched in the areas of the politics of human security, American government and policies, post-authoritarian and post-conflict politics, and theories of democratization.

While at Wisconsin-Eau Claire, he organized partnership-building visits to other colleges and championed diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as global partnerships. For example, Leaman helped to facilitate expansion of the university’s exchange program with Chinese universities, and in a 2016 visit, helped to negotiate details of an agreement with Changshu Institute of Technology in China.

As dean at Widener, Leaman will lead the university’s largest college, which houses more than 30 fields of study in the liberal arts, including a number of interdisciplinary, pre-professional and graduate programs. Rooted in a strong liberal arts tradition, the College of Arts and Sciences has long been a place where Widener students can explore many diverse interests, while progressing toward a degree and solid preparation for careers in a wide array of fields.

Leaman received both his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell University in government (political science) and a bachelor of arts in history from Goshen College. He was awarded a Fulbright Grant for Graduate Study Abroad by the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars and has been the recipient of numerous research and programmatic grants.

In addition to his time at Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Northeastern Illinois University, he was a visiting assistant professor at Bucknell University, was an instructor at Muskegon Community College, and taught English at the Thomas English Institute in Saitama, Japan. Leaman’s headshot is available here.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises seven schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website,