Blake Wood
Publish Date

Miriam L. Wallace has been named the new dean of the University of Illinois Springfield College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). She will serve as dean-designate until formal approval by the Board of Trustees. She is expected to start in her new role on July 1.

She comes to UIS from the New College of Florida (NCF) where she served for six years as the division chair for humanities. In that role, she led more than 40 faculty in traditional humanities, arts, music and interdisciplinary fields. She guided the division through significant growth, hired new faculty and revised the budget to better support the arts.

Wallace has taught at NCF since 1995 and is currently serving as a professor of English and Gender Studies. Prior to that academic appointment, she served as a teaching fellow for the Board of Studies in Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

“I’m delighted to be joining UIS and honored to take up the role of the new dean of CLASS—a college that represents what I call the ‘culture workers’— a rich blend of arts, humanities and social sciences,” Wallace said. “My heart is in the liberal arts—which I believe prepare us for meaningful work and fulfilling lives long after graduation. I particularly love that UIS is a student-centered public university, which brings this experience to a diverse range of students while being embedded in and responsible to the local community. I’m excited to represent this critical group and impressed by the passion of faculty and staff I’ve met so far.”

At NCF, she was also director of the gender studies program from 2012-2015 and alternated as coordinator for the program from 1995-2012. Prior to directing gender studies, she served as director of a quality enhancement project on student writing at NCF and co-chaired the women’s caucus of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

She was the recipient of a $35,000 National Endowment for a Humanities Connections Planning grant and also secured a $30,000 O’Donaghue Foundation grant, both of which supported curriculum development, visiting speakers and local internship opportunities in interdisciplinary health and humanistic psychology respectively.

Wallace recently co-edited a collection of essays, “Teaching the Eighteenth Century NOW: Pedagogy as Ethical Engagement.” Since 2012, she has been responsible for more than 40 scholarly publications and conference presentations.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in literature from Swarthmore College and a master’s and doctorate in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.