George Justice

Justice appointed dean of humanities at ASU

By

Sharon Keeler

George Justice, a noted scholar of 18th century literature and the history of publishing, has been appointed dean of humanities in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

Justice comes to ASU from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he served as vice provost for advanced studies and dean of the Graduate School.

The new dean will assume the leadership role now held by interim dean and professor Elizabeth Langland on June 1. Langland, who will return to the faculty, will take a year’s leave from teaching to work on several research projects.

“Professor Justice brings a remarkably diverse set of skills, experiences and insight to a core set of disciplinary and transdisciplinary fields that are increasingly important to understanding our world,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The humanities, combined with new tools, approaches and cross-disciplinary activities, can empower society – culturally as well as technologically – to solve the critical, emerging challenges ahead our future.”

“Dr. Justice is a scholar, educator and leader who has a deep understanding of the vital role that the humanities play in higher education and advancing research across disciplines,” said Executive Vice President and University Provost Elizabeth D. Phillips. “He is also a very talented administrator who understands how universities work. He will be key to advancing the humanities at ASU and in the country. I am thrilled he is joining us.”

Justice’s research ranges from studies of Jane Austen and the 18th century novel to technology, graduate programs, and the integration of research, teaching and learning. He joined the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2002, where, in addition to his teaching and research, he also served as the director of graduate studies for the English Department and assistant and associate dean for student affairs in the Graduate School.

As vice provost and dean, Justice oversaw more than 70 doctoral programs and 90 master’s programs, spanning the arts, science, education, business, law, medicine and nursing, journalism and engineering. He also helped to develop the University of Missouri Informatics Institute and spearheaded Missouri’s entry into the Center for the Integration of Research, Training, and Learning, a consortium of 25 universities dedicated to transforming STEM undergraduate education.

“The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is committed to helping students understand the knowledge necessary for a rapidly changing world, to conducting research that contributes to solving complex problems by working across intellectual boundaries, and to challenging and inspiring the next generation of leaders,” said Robert E. Page, Jr., university vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Dean Justice has a breadth of knowledge within the humanities and the sciences, has pursued development of interdisciplinary degree programs, and has a deep understanding of not only educational landscapes before us, but the role that innovation will play in their change.”

“Arizona State is a remarkable institution and it is great honor and pleasure to bring my cross-campus experience to bear on shaping the interdisciplinary future of the humanities,” said Justice. “The work that can be done in the vibrant culture of ASU could help shape the landscape for the humanities nationally – in a time in which the humanities desperately need change.”

“I am privileged to play a role in educating the undergraduates who will become leaders in humanistic research and practice,” added Justice. “We are at an exciting moment in the history of culture, and technologies and practices can help us understand better and reach more people: the humanities are as vital and necessary as the sciences and help shape all of what we do in meaningful ways.”

Prior to his time in Missouri, Justice was with Marquette University and Louisiana State University. He has written and edited numerous articles, essays, book chapters and books. Recently, he co-edited Jane Austen’s novel "Emma" for the Norton Critical Editions series.

Justice received his bachelor's degree in English from Wesleyan University and his master's and doctorate in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was established in 1953 and is the largest ASU college, with 20,375 students and 1,364 faculty. The humanities division houses one-third of the faculty and offers 21 undergraduate and 22 graduate degree programs. In his role as dean of humanities, Justice will oversee all humanities academic units and centers.

Reporting to Justice will be the School of International Letters and Cultures, the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, the Jewish Studies Program, a multifaceted Department of English, and numerous research centers and institutes.