Dean's Office Directory
Nicol Rae serves as the Dean of the College of Letters and Science and is a professor of political science. Before coming to MSU in 2013, Dr. Rae served as the senior associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida International University. At Florida International University, Dr. Rae led associate deans, assistant deans, directors and department chairs in his role since 2008. His professional administrative experience includes serving as the chair of the Department of Political Science, co-director of the Miami European Union Center and director of European Studies. He began his career at Florida International University in 1988 and was chair of the Department of Political Science from 1999-2005. His scholarship is often cited, and his research interests focus on American national political institutions, comparative political parties and party systems, European government and politics, and conservative politics. He is the author of five books on American politics. Dr. Rae holds a doctorate in politics from Oxford University and an undergraduate degree in politics from Edinburgh University.
Associate Dean for Student Success and Curriculum
Dr. Cherry is a history professor whose research focuses on Roman North Africa and the history of the Roman frontiers. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, he has published two books, Frontier and Society in Roman North Africa, published by Oxford University Press in 1998, and The Roman World: A Sourcebook, published by Blackwell in 2001. In addition to his excellent scholarship and work in the classroom, Dr. Cherry has served in numerous leadership positions at MSU. He was actively involved in the development of MSU’s current core curriculum. He was instrumental in the creation of both the Liberal Studies and American Studies programs, serving as director of Liberal Studies from 2005 to 2009 and director of American Studies from 2009 to 2014. He’s been very involved in the University Library Committee, acting as that group’s chair from 1995 to 2003 and again from 2013 to present. For many years, Dr. Cherry served on the advisory committee for the college’s first-year seminar course, and was the chair of the Department of History and Philosophy from 2011 to 2014. He was the department’s graduate program coordinator from 1998 to 2004. Before coming to MSU in 1992, Dr. Cherry taught at the University of Toronto, Stanford University, and the University of Puget Sound. He earned his doctorate in Classics from the University of Ottawa.
Associate Dean for Faculty and College Affairs
Dr. Eitle is a professor of sociology research focuses on race, crime and criminal justice; the etiology of criminal and deviant behavior among late adolescents and young adults; and the risk and protective factors associated with substance use and HIV-risk behaviors. He is a prolific scholar having co-authored nearly 60 peer reviewed articles and referred book chapters; in 2010, the Journal of Criminal Justice Education identified Dr. Eitle as one of the most prolific scholars across the prior decade in prestigious criminal justice and criminology journals. His work appears in such journals as Justice Quarterly, Crime and Delinquency, Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Social Forces, Journal of Health and Social Behavior and Journal of Criminal Justice. His scholarship is of the highest caliber as evidenced by his success in obtaining financial support for his research from MSU and external funding sources including the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2012, he was awarded the College of Letters and Science’s Meritorious Research and Creativity Award. He has taught a great variety of courses at MSU, including Criminology; Occupational and Corporate Crime; Crime, Justice, and the Media; Violence in America; Senior Capstone Seminar; and Criminal Justice System.
Caressa Bailey Sack
Assistant to the Dean
Director of Finance and Administration
Mindy Brown has degrees in natural resources from Cornell University (B.S.) and natural resource management and policy from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (M.S.). She joined the Dean’s office in 2009 after working in both the Departments of Microbiology and Earth Sciences at MSU. She is responsible for the fiscal management of the college, including its fifteen departments and various centers.
Jody Sanford has a B.A. degree in English and political science from the University of Michigan and an M.S. degree in natural resource management from Michigan State University. She joined the Dean’s office in 2008. She directs communication among the college’s fourteen departments, as well as between the college, the wider university, and college alumni and donors. Jody is the editor of Confluence, the college’s annual magazine, manages the CLS website, and produces other College-related brochures and publications.
Student Services Coordinator
Amanda Smith has a B.A. degree in Spanish and Secondary Education from Grand Valley State University. She joined the Dean’s office in the fall of 2019. She is the assistant to the associate deans, manages all student related programs, policies and procedures, and coordinates all student support activities. She is also the program manager for the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.
Cheryl McDonald has a B.A. degree in English Literature and Communications from the State University of New York at Potsdam. Cheryl joined the Dean’s office in the fall of 2018 as an administrative associate assisting Montana State University students, staff and faculty.