Richard Ide, associate professor and former chair of the Department of English,
has stepped in as interim dean of humanities while Marshall Cohen serves as
interim dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Ide agreed to serve from Sept. 1 through June 30, 1994, Cohen announced.
In selecting Ide, Cohen cited his strong support in the faculty and his record as
chair of the Department of English.
“He was an excellent chair of English and he has broad interest in undergraduate
education,” Cohen said. “He has been involved in universitywide activities, such
as admissions, recruitment and undergraduate life, for many years.”
Ide, who received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and an A.B. from
Middlebury College, said he is looking forward to the challenge of guiding the
Division of Humanities during a critical year.
Last spring, the college formed several new committees in each division to work
on long-term planning. For humanities, the planning committees deal with
linguistics and language learning, literature and cultural studies and
administration and services.
Ide said he was very interested in facilitating communication between the faculty
council and the dean’s office.
“In the past, administrative decisions were made from the dean’s office, with
input from the faculty, but there was no formal mechanism in place to gather
input,” he said.
All three committees are charged with looking at ways to economize and at the
same time improve the quality of the undergraduate experience in their respective
“I see that as a real challenge, and I think the issues are of such importance
that if we do it correctly, we can feel gratified for the rest of our careers
here,” Ide said.
Ide served as chair of the English department from 1989 to 1992. Under his watch,
the junior faculty improved significantly. The department succeeded in recruiting
Joseph Boone, an associate professor specializing in 19th-century, modernist and
contemporary fiction and feminist theory and gender issues; and Margaret Russett,
an assistant professor specializing in romantic poetry and gothic fiction.
Additionally, Ide oversaw improvements in the quality of the department’s
graduate program, which resulted in attracting more top students.
Ide also has acquired administrative experience serving on several university
committees. He has extensive experience in undergraduate student recruitment,
serving as chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee and on the Division of
Humanities’ Recruitment Committee, among numerous other committees.
Ide also contributed heavily as a member of the Commission on Undergraduate
Education, a campuswide organization of faculty and students established by the
late former president James H. Zumberge to examine the future of undergraduate
education at USC.
CUE completed its final report last year. One of its more publicized
accomplishments was the inception of the diversity requirement, which goes into
effect this fall. According to Ide, however, CUE had several other noteworthy
“It underlined the fact that this university was committed to improving
undergraduate education, and it set people to work trying to improve the
environment in which students could flourish,” he said, noting that CUE’s work
led to recommendations for residential colleges, the first of which opens this
The CUE report also encouraged the professional schools and the college to work
together, and it served as a blueprint for ways the university could consolidate
its resources in light of budget difficulties.