Daniel Gordon Appointed Acting Dean of Commonwealth Honors College

Professor Daniel Gordon has been appointed acting dean of Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, effective Aug. 1.

Gordon has served as associate dean since 2009. He now leads the school following the recent death of Dean Priscilla M. Clarkson.

“As we open our new Commonwealth Honors College Residential College this fall, we are fortunate to have an experienced academic administrator and faculty member like Professor Gordon ready to lead the college into a new era,” said Provost James V. Staros. “His knowledge and understanding of the honors college make him the ideal candidate to serve as acting dean.” 

A professor of history at UMass Amherst, Gordon joined the faculty in 1995 and served as director of the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) program for 2008-11.

As associate dean of Commonwealth Honors College, Gordon oversaw the design of “Ideas that Changed the World,” a required honors course for first-year students, and supervised the lecturers who taught the course to more than 700 students. He has also played a lead role in developing new academic programs, oversees the honors Student Advisory Board, and worked with the former dean on strategic planning.

Gordon completed his M.S.L. at Yale Law School and holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in history from the University of Chicago. He earned his B.A. at Columbia University.

His scholarship focuses on three areas: French history with special reference to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution; the history of political and social theory, with an emphasis on current legal concepts, and the history of higher education and theories of liberal education.

Prior to teaching at UMass Amherst, he was a teaching and postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and an assistant professor of history and literature at Harvard University. He has also been a visiting faculty member at Stanford and the Collège de France.