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Citywide Commitment Impresses New Dean

April 9, 2008

New Wave staff

Carole Haber, stirred by the commitment of the campus community to Tulane and New Orleans, is heading to the Crescent City as the new dean of the Tulane University School of Liberal Arts.

Carole Haber

Looking forward to being on the Tulane campus in July, new dean Carole Haber will lead the School of Liberal Arts. She is moving to New Orleans from the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. (Photo by Angela Hoseth)

Haber, the Richards Professor of History and chair of the history department at the University of Delaware, will begin her appointment as dean on July 1.

She will replace George Bernstein, interim dean, who will return to his faculty position in the Tulane history department.

"One of things that's obvious is everyone at Tulane — students, faculty, staff, administrators — have a commitment to the university and the city that's truly inspiring," Haber said in a phone interview. "There is this real desire to be at Tulane and to commit to the success of it, and to the future of the city. That penetrates the whole atmosphere."

Admitting that she likes challenges and change (though she realizes that may be a bit unusual for a historian), Haber should fit in nicely in the "new" New Orleans. She also sees plenty of opportunities in the deanship.

"It's an opportunity to create an identity for the School of Liberal Arts, to fashion revised PhD programs, to support faculty as they move ahead in their research, and to create interconnections within the school and to other schools outside the School of Liberal Arts," Haber added.

Haber earned a PhD in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979. She joined the department of history at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte in 1979 as an assistant professor, and served in various academic and administrative roles at UNC–Charlotte, becoming chair of the history department in 1993.

In 1998 Haber left UNC for the University of Delaware where she was named full professor and history department chair. In 2003 she was named Richards Professor of History, an endowed position.

At Delaware, she also held several administrative positions including membership on the Dean's Advisory Committee, a position through which she shared oversight of the College of Arts and Sciences' budget. Haber also chaired the university's Steering Committee and its Chairs' Caucus.

Michael Bernstein, Tulane provost, called Haber "an accomplished scholar-teacher, an experienced and gifted administrator and a fine colleague possessed of exemplary values and principles." He added, "She will distinguish herself as an outstanding leader and an inspired collaborator."

Haber's wide academic interests include aging and death, a subject on which she has written several books including Beyond Sixty-Five: The Dilemma of Old Age in America's Past, Old Age and the Search for Security, and Key Words in Sociocultural Gerontology.

She has taught classes on the history of medicine and disability and death, as well as a seminar on 19th century murder and madness. Eventually, she hopes to teach at Tulane, because "to understand the faculty you have to understand the students."

The School of Liberal Arts at Tulane, which Haber will lead, consists of 15 departments and 22 interdisciplinary programs.

She added, "My enthusiasm for the mission of Tulane as well as my desire to be part of the team that shapes the future of New Orleans makes me extremely excited about this position and its possibilities."

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000