UCI News

Tyrus Miller is named dean of UCI School of Humanities

Accomplished literary scholar currently heads graduate division at UC Santa Cruz

March 5, 2018
Tyrus Miller is named dean of UCI School of Humanities
Tyrus Miller, vice provost and dean of graduate studies at UC Santa Cruz, will become dean of UCI’s School of Humanities on July 1. UC Santa Cruz

Irvine, Calif., March 5, 2018 — Distinguished literary scholar and author Tyrus Miller will join the University of California, Irvine as dean of the School of Humanities, effective July 1, 2018. He currently serves as vice provost and dean of graduate studies at UC Santa Cruz.

“By teaching our students to think critically and creatively, the humanities are at the core of higher education and essential to the advancement of our democracy. And UCI has a proud tradition of excelling in this area,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Because of this, it is important to bring a visionary leader like Tyrus Miller to the School of Humanities. We are excited about the school’s future and welcome Tyrus to the UCI community.”

UCI Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Enrique Lavernia said that Miller was selected after a nationwide search to replace Georges Van Den Abbeele, who will return to his faculty position at the end of his term as dean.

“Tyrus Miller’s dedication to advancing scholarship and graduate education has been exceptional,” Lavernia said. “Humanities programs at UCI have traditionally been some of the strongest in the country, and we are certain that Tyrus will lead the humanities into a new and exciting direction while maintaining our well-earned reputation for academic excellence.”

The UCI School of Humanities offers 22 majors and 35 minors, ranging from English, history and philosophy to Middle East studies and literary journalism. Global and interdisciplinary in scope, it provides instruction in more than a dozen languages and encompasses 10 research centers that bring together scholars from across campus, students from all majors and the community. These include the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies & Culture, the Latin American Studies Center, the Center for Critical Korean Studies and the Center for Jewish Studies.

The school is home to several top-ranked graduate programs – among them critical theory (No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report 2017 rankings), English (No. 17) and history (No. 34) – and boasts a cadre of talented alumni, from “Game of Thrones” co-creator David Benioff and prize-winning novelists Alice Sebold and Michael Chabon to such change agents as “Freedom Writer” Erin Gruwell.

“The concerns at the heart of the humanities – from our shared stories and histories to the languages, texts, images, and concepts in which we express them – have never been more relevant than in today’s world,” Miller said. “UCI’s School of Humanities is a place where the future of humanistic study is being defined today: in its research, its teaching and its public engagement. It’s thrilling to have the chance to lead the school and experience that future together with this extraordinary community of scholars and students.”

About Tyrus Miller

Miller brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the humanities and interdisciplinary research as well as extensive administrative experience, including as a member of the provost’s senior academic leadership team at UC Santa Cruz. He has a rich history of engagement with research development and support, both as an individual researcher and as a strategic university leader.

Under Miller’s tenure, UC Santa Cruz has embarked on an ambitious 10-year plan to grow its graduate programs to Association of American Universities levels. As head of the graduate division, Miller manages 36 Ph.D. and over 50 master’s programs. He has also helped position UC Santa Cruz’s entrepreneurship program to have a wider interdisciplinary scope across the university.

Since 2012, Miller has spearheaded successful grant applications and fundraising campaigns totaling more than $2.4 million in grant-backed humanities and arts initiatives. Most recently, he conceived and helped secure a five-year, $1.5 million Mellon Foundation grant to support doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds and fund internships and other programs.

An accomplished scholar and author, Miller is also a tenured professor at UC Santa Cruz who specializes in 20th-century literature, theory and culture, especially modernist, avant-garde and contemporary experimental writing and visual arts.

He earned a B.A./M.A. in humanities and an M.A. in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in English at Stanford University. He previously taught at Yale University and directed the UC Education Abroad Program in Budapest, Hungary.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

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