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Carla Freeman selected as interim dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Carla Freeman

Carla S. Freeman, executive associate dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Goodrich C. White Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, will serve as interim dean of Emory College, says Ravi V. Bellamkonda, Emory University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. On Aug. 1, 2022, she will succeed Michael A. Elliott as he leaves to assume the presidency of Amherst College.

Freeman joined the Emory College faculty in 1995 as an anthropologist and scholar of globalization, gender and labor. In addition to her work as a scholar and teacher, she also took on leadership opportunities, first as department chair. Freeman joined the College administration in 2014, serving as senior associate dean of faculty and in 2020 became executive associate dean.

“Dr. Freeman has been a dynamic scholar, passionate and thoughtful teacher, and dedicated leader in the College,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “As interim dean, I know she will set a high standard, bringing out the potential of the thousands of students, faculty and staff who make the Emory College of Arts and Sciences outstanding.”

As a leader, Freeman has implemented ambitious initiatives to enhance the diversity of the Emory College faculty and mentor early-career faculty as successful scholars, pedagogues and engaged citizens of the university. Since 2017, nearly half of all new faculty members identify as belonging to historically underrepresented groups, women in STEM disciplines or both. 

“In our conversations, Dr. Freeman has expressed her excitement at leading the College at this point in time, especially at the prospect of focusing more of her time on enhancing the experience of our students through our student flourishing initiative, as well as investing in faculty in ways to further eminence of the College nationally,” says Bellamkonda. “It is an exciting time to be at Emory and the College, particularly with the new general education requirements going into effect, and with AI.Humanity and other faculty initiatives in the liberal arts and sciences underway.”

As interim dean, Freeman is eager to advance student flourishing and to partner with leaders across the university to fully integrate the undergraduate experience.

“Our students are determined to chart meaningful lives for themselves, to do work that will make a difference and change the world,” Freeman says. “Their energy, determination and imagination astound me. Emory offers unique opportunities to meld a superlative academic program with endless opportunities for experiential learning, social engagement and personal growth.

“I am more excited than ever about Emory’s place in the landscape of higher education and its unique integration of a liberal arts college within a major research university. The university is at its most transformative juncture since the historic Robert W. Woodruff Foundation gift in 1979,” she says. “We are fully committed to enhancing our scholarly eminence, faculty diversity, a more holistic undergraduate experience and a successful, comprehensive fundraising campaign. I am intent to accelerate all of these efforts.”

Freeman has remained a prolific scholar and leader in her interdisciplinary fields throughout her time in leadership roles. Her research examines the culture, gender and political economy of labor and globalization, the changing forms and meanings of work in people’s everyday lives in the 20th and 21st centuries. Freeman has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the Caribbean for more than 30 years, and her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and the Fulbright Program. She co-edits the Oxford University Press series “Issues of Globalization” and recently served as the president of the Association for Feminist Anthropology.

Freeman is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, where she earned an AB in anthropology. She received an MA and a PhD in anthropology from Temple University.

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