New CHSS Dean: Robert S. Friedman

Mike Peters

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Montclair State University is pleased to welcome Dr. Robert S. Friedman, the new Dean for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Friedman comes to MSU from the Institute of Technology at the University of Washington's Tacoma campus where he served as its Academic Director.

In announcing the appointment this spring, President Susan A. Cole praised the new dean’s leadership skills.

"Rob is an accomplished scholar, an able administrator and an innovative leader who will advance the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ core commitment to providing an outstanding liberal arts education with focused preparation in a wide range of disciplines and professional areas," she said.

Friedman sees great opportunity at CHSS. "I'm thrilled to be able to join Montclair State as its next dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,” he said. “The personal significance of this appointment is rooted in my professional and scholarly commitment to the humanities as the focus of a liberal education, as well as to the frames of thought and action provided through the social sciences."

Prior to joining the University of Washington, Friedman held administrative and faculty positions at New Jersey Institute of Technology, including serving as the associate dean in the College of Computing Sciences and associate dean for liberal arts in the College of Science and Liberal Arts. While at NJIT, he also held positions as both associate chair and chair of the Humanities Department, as well as program director for the department's BS in Science, Technology and Society.

A homecoming
Friedman was anxious to return home to work with new colleagues and students -- New Jersey’s future leaders. He aims "to take the College further along its path of excellence, develop new interdisciplinary programs that respond to the needs of the state and interests of students, and solidify the position of the humanities and social sciences as central to the University’s mission," he said.

Friedman’s research portfolio includes more than $7.5 million in extramural funding, four books – including a 2013 volume on literary ecology in American Literature – numerous journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations.

He has held leadership positions in the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group for IT Education and was elected chair in 2012. He is an ABET commissioner and has led accreditation review teams for programs in Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Technology. Friedman is an associate editor of ACM Inroads, a magazine dedicated to computing education.

Friedman received his doctorate in American Literature from the City University of New York's Graduate Center, and his master's in Information Systems at NJIT, where he was a founding faculty member of its Information Technology program.