Andersen appointed new Social Science dean

Robert (Bob) Andersen has been appointed to a five-year term as dean of Social Science, beginning July 1. He will join Western June 1 and serve in a temporary role as special advisor to the provost.

Andersen arrives from the University of Toronto where he is currently a Distinguished Professor of Social Science and chair of the Department of Sociology (St. George Campus). Prior to joining Toronto in 2007, he held various academic and administrative appointments at Brock, Oxford, Western and McMaster. Andersen was an assistant professor at Western from 2002-2003.

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He holds three degrees from Western – a BA in Political Science in 1991, honours diploma in Sociology in 1992 as well as an MA in Sociology in 1994 – and a PhD from McMaster.

With teaching and research interests in political sociology, social stratification and applied statistics, Andersen’s current research explores the consequences of income inequality for a wide array of attitudes and behaviours considered important to the health of liberal democracy. He is also a social statistician with expertise in survey research methods. His most recent research has appeared in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Sociology and the Annual Review of Sociology, and he is also the author of Modern Methods for Robust Regression.

Apart from his scholarly and administrative success as chair of the Department of Sociology at St. George Campus, he has also demonstrated his leadership abilities as chair of Toronto’s Tri-campus Graduate Sociology Program in which he oversees 60 faculty members and 100 graduate students.

Andersen’s appointment was advanced at the recommendation of the Social Science Decanal Selection Committee, and received the formal endorsement of the president and Western’s Board of Governors through the Board’s Senior Operations Committee earlier this week.

Social Science is the largest faculty at Western with 244 faculty members, more than 6,600 undergraduates and 550 graduate students and boasts more than 70,000 alumni around the globe. Recognized for its research, the quality of its undergraduate teaching, and its innovative graduate programs, Social Science has consistently been ranked as one of the Top 100 Social Science faculties in the world by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council, the QS Corporation and the Academic Rankings of World Universities.

Andersen will succeed Brian Timney, who has served as dean since July 2002.