Montana State University
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Steen named Dean of MSU College of Letters and Science

Sara Jayne Steen, a Renaissance scholar and former chair of Montana State University's Department of English, has been named dean of MSU's College of Letters and Science, the university's largest college.

Steen, now an American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Delaware, will replace Jim McMillan, who will retire from his position as dean at the end of June. McMillan will return to a faculty position, teaching cell biology/neuroscience. Steen will assume her position at MSU July 1.

"Sara Jayne will be a superb dean for the College of Letters and Science," said David Dooley, MSU Provost. "She perfectly exemplifies the teacher/scholar model of our faculty and also possesses outstanding leadership ability."

"It will be a special privilege to serve as dean of the College of Letters and Science, in which I have been both faculty member and department chair," Steen said. "We have the opportunity to build on a strong base of programs, led by an excellent team of faculty and staff, to create even more exciting opportunities for MSU students."

Steen was selected for the highly competitive American Council on Education Fellowship in 2002 to study higher education issues and administration, specifically working on a diversity project for MSU. She had been approved for a sabbatical next year to continue her work at the University of Delaware shortly before she was selected for the dean position.

Steen was the former chair of the MSU English Department from 1996-2002. She is also an award-winning professor and scholar of Renaissance English literature. While department head, she served on several university-wide administrative committees. Steen is internationally recognized for her reintroduction of English Renaissance women writers into the canon.

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Steen graduated with a bachelor's degree in English and speech education from Bowling Green State University. She received her master's degree in English at The Ohio State University and received her doctorate in English from Bowling Green State University. Steen has published extensively, sits on several national and international Renaissance society boards and was a founding director of the MSU Playwriting Festival.

Written by Carol Schmidt and posted 6/4/03.