May 052003
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

Heather Hardy has been named the new dean for the College of Liberal Arts.

“We were looking for someone who had a very strong record in terms of teaching and scholarship,” said Peter Nicholls, provost and academic vice president. “We felt very good that she was the sort of person who would have what it takes.”

Hardy is currently chair for the Department of English at Northern Illinois University. Since joining with NIU in 1993, she has worked as a professor in the Department of English and Women’s Studies Program and the director of undergraduate studies in English. She has also taught at the University of North Texas, Rice University, the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A&M.

Hardy earned her bachelor’s degree in linguistics and English from Rice University in 1974. She went on to secure a doctorate in linguistics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

“I was struck by what a good fit (the dean position) seemed for me, both personally and professionally,” Hardy said. “The college has an excellent reputation, and I am very much looking forward to working with the faculty and staff to advance the missions of the college and university.”

Hardy will replace the existing Robert Hoffert, dean for the College of Liberal Arts. After more than 25 years, Hoffert plans to enter into transitional retirement.

Hoffert was not available for comment, but those that worked with him will miss his presence.

“I think Bob Hoffert has been very efficient in leading the college in all sorts of directions it needs to go,” said Bob Kling, economics professor and former chair of the economics department. “In a college like this one it really requires a special kind of leader to pull together the social sciences, arts and humanities.”

Hardy will try to follow in his footsteps.

“My background has been both in the humanities and social sciences,” Hardy said. “These are certainly challenging times for higher education, but the College of Liberal Arts has great momentum and I am looking forward to working with the outstanding faculty and staff as we move toward a very promising future.”

Nicholls is convinced Hardy will succeed.

“We just felt very good about her credentials, experience and how she perceived the role of the College of Liberal Arts here at CSU,” he said.

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