The University of Massachusetts Amherst

R. Karl Rethemeyer named as New Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

University of Massachusetts Amherst Names R. Karl Rethemeyer as New Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

December 2, 2020

Contact: Ed Blaguszewski 413-695-4522

R. Karl Rethemeyer

AMHERST, Mass. – R. Karl Rethemeyer has been appointed dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst by John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Rethemeyer currently serves as dean of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy of the University at Albany – State University of New York. He will begin his new position July 1, 2021, with the School of Public Policy being his new departmental home at UMass.

“Dr. Rethemeyer brings us a wealth of experience from his service as dean of the Rockefeller College. He has also demonstrated the ability to lead across disciplinary boundaries, both within Social and Behavior Sciences and across other colleges at UMass,” McCarthy said. “I very much look forward to working with him.”

Rethemeyer said, “I am extremely excited to join the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and UMass Amherst. The college is built around an outstanding faculty that is devoted to values and approaches that have been at the center of my career as both a faculty member and academic leader: research excellence; commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; interdisciplinarity; and an excellent student experience built around innovative instruction, experiential learning and proactive advising. UMass Amherst is also a campus on the move, with students around the country viewing it as a destination of choice for their undergraduate degree.”

Rethemeyer will succeed Dean John Hird, who is returning to the faculty after serving as dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences since 2015. McCarthy expressed gratitude for Hird’s “long service and transformative leadership,” which will be more fully recognized at a later time by the university.

A 1991 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Rethemeyer received an M.S. in development studies from the London School of Economics & Political Science and a 2002 Ph.D. in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He joined the faculty of the University at Albany immediately after receiving his doctorate. At Albany, he directed graduate programs in public policy and public administration, subsequently chaired the Department of Public Administration and Policy, and was successively associate dean, interim dean, and dean of the Rockefeller College.

Rethemeyer’s research centers on the structure, management and effect of social networks, as well as social network methodology, with particular reference to policy networks, clinical health networks, and network systems. His research has appeared in leading journals, and in 2019 he was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.