Robert S. Feldman Appointed Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst
May 8, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Robert S. Feldman has been appointed to a three-year term as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
"Dean Feldman has provided exceptional leadership to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences since he was appointed interim dean in 2009 upon the retirement of Janet Rifkin," said Provost James Staros in announcing the appointment. "Never just a caretaker, he has moved the college forward in many important ways. A prolific scholar and sought-after speaker, Dean Feldman provides intellectual as well as administrative leadership to the college."
Feldman said, "I am thrilled and honored to lead the college. I look forward to working with our faculty, students and staff in fulfilling our mission of educating global citizens and carrying out cutting-edge research and public service."
During his service as interim dean, Feldman increased fundraising significantly, with gifts up nearly 300 percent in fiscal year 2011; promoted and increased diversity, with nearly one-third of all tenure track faculty hired last year coming from under-represented groups; developed a mentorship program for faculty seeking grants and increased the college’s sponsored research activity; supported improvement of the undergraduate experience through seed grants encouraging teaching innovation; initiated the annual New England Conference for Student Success, which last year brought more than 300 educators from New England to campus; supported an online fellows program to promote excellence in online teaching; and increased revenues, raising Continuing and Professional Education enrollments and embracing three-year undergraduate programs and five-year B.A./M.A. programs.
A member of the psychology faculty at UMass Amherst since 1977, Feldman served for three years as associate dean of the college before becoming interim dean. Feldman studies self-presentation in adults and children, focusing on how, when and why people are verbally deceptive. In his research, he looks at the ways that people use lying strategically in their social interactions and the consequences of this deception. His most recent book is "The Liar in Your Life: The Way to Truthful Relationships."
He is president-elect of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Foundation and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
Feldman has served as a visiting professor at Mount Holyoke College and Wesleyan University and was a Fulbright lecturer and research scholar at Ewha University in South Korea. He taught for three years at Virginia Commonwealth University before joining the UMass Amherst faculty.
He graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.