Linda Aldoory, a distinguished scholar, dedicated educator, and experienced administrator, joins American University as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences following a nationwide search. Aldoory comes to AU after serving as associate dean for faculty affairs and research, professor of communication, and director of the Center for Humanities Research in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park.
“I am excited and honored to be joining American University and the College of Arts and Sciences as its new dean,” Aldoory said. “I hope to build on the great work already accomplished by the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and former deans, and I plan on continuing the efforts toward inclusive excellence. I will be a strong voice for the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences and look forward to collaborating across the university and the city, to promote and advance innovative, interdisciplinary teaching and research.”
Aldoory will lead AU’s largest school, with approximately 400 full-time faculty, 100 full-time staff, and 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is a particularly exciting time for the College of Arts and Sciences as the college recently opened the 125,000-square-foot Hall of Science, a hub for cutting-edge teaching and research. It also received the largest externally funded award in AU’s history, a $15 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant to study food waste. The college houses programs and courses in the arts, social science, humanities, and sciences for all AU students. It has 57 undergraduate major programs and 37 graduate programs.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Linda Aldoory to the American University community as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” said AU Provost Peter Starr. “She brings to the role a strong combination of scholarly accomplishment, academic leadership experience, and commitment to social equity. I am excited to collaborate with her to advance the work of our outstanding CAS faculty, staff, and students.”
Aldoory’s research and work addresses social justice and health equity, as well as how diversity and inclusion can improve communication professions. Her recent book, The Future of Feminism in Public Relations and Strategic Communication, co-authored with Elizabeth Toth, won the 2021 PRIDE Outstanding Book Award from the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association. Among her other scholarly achievements are dozens of journal articles, book chapters, commissioned reports, and a co-edited book.
Aldoory’s past leadership roles at the UMD College of Arts and Humanities include associate dean for research and programming, diversity officer and equity administrator, associate chair of the Department of Communication, and founder and director of the Center for Health Risk and Communication. She has also served as endowed chair and director of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy in the School of Public Health.
Prior to her career in academia, Aldoory held several public relations positions, working on mental health and maternal health projects with The Bronx Perinatal Consortium, Hill and Knowlton, Inc., and the American Psychiatric Association. She received her Ph.D. in mass communication from Syracuse University, an MA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The George Washington University.
Aldoory replaces Max Paul Friedman, who served as interim dean since July 2020. She will begin her deanship on July 1. Her faculty appointment at AU will be as professor of health studies.
“Dr. Aldoory’s impressive background, wide-ranging expertise, and personal style make her an ideal match for the College of Arts and Sciences. We are fortunate to have her leadership,” said CAS Interim Dean Max Paul Friedman. “She will be joining a wonderful community whose extraordinary people I’ve come to know so much better over the past two tumultuous years. I look forward to working with her on a smooth transition and to having her as my dean.”