History professor Daniel Gordon has been named a finalist for dean of Commonwealth Honors College, where he has served as interim dean since last fall. He will give a presentation to the campus community on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 2:45 p.m. in 163C Campus Center, and will be available for questions until 4:15 p.m.
Gordon was previously associate dean of CHC (2009-13); director of the Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (2008-11); and co-director of the Entrepreneurship Initiative (2009-11). As associate dean of CHC he oversaw the design and implementation of the honors freshman seminar “Ideas that Changed the World.” Offered to 800 students per year, the course is the foundation of the honors core curriculum. It is also one of the highest rated multi-section courses on campus, based on Student Response To Instruction (SRTI) results. As interim dean, Gordon has spearheaded numerous curricular partnerships across the disciplines. He has worked with the College of Engineering to develop a leadership program for honors and non-honors engineering students. He has collaborated with University Without Walls to develop its first honors track. This academic year, Gordon has played a leading public role in framing the significance and value of the new Honors Residential Community and responding to questions about diversity and inclusion from students, faculty, alumni and journalists. In partnership with Enrollment Management, he has conceived a new approach to diversity recruitment, an approach that has already added approximately 90 first-generation college students to the current CHC freshman class.
Gordon received a B.A. in history from Columbia University (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. He also earned the M.S.L. degree from the Yale Law School. His publications span six disciplines: history, political science, law, literature, philosophy and education. Gordon began as a scholar of the Enlightenment. His translation of Voltaire’s “Candide” applies original translation principles to an 18th century classic, yielding, among other new insights, the conclusion that the main character is bisexual. The translation is widely used in college courses. As a legal scholar, Gordon recently published several scholarly articles in high-impact and widely read journals on the banning of the Muslim veil in European countries. And as a historian of higher education, Gordon has been invited nationally and internationally to speak as a guest lecturer, or keynote speaker, on such topics as “The Tension Between Research and Teaching: A History of the Debate Since 1900” and “Tradition and Innovation in American Higher Education, 1945-Present.” In 2002, Gordon received a medallion from the Collège de France and was named visiting professor for his contributions to the study of French culture.
His CV can be found at https://www.umass.edu/provost/node/167