Rita Kipp Named Sewanee’s Dean of College of Arts and Sciences


Rita Smith Kipp, Oden Professor of Anthropology and associate provost at Kenyon College, has been named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Sewanee: The University of the South. Kipp succeeds Douglas Seiters, who has served as interim dean since the departure of Thomas Kazee in June 2003. "We're delighted that Professor Kipp has agreed to serve as dean of the college," said Joel Cunningham, vice chancellor and president of the University. "She brings outstanding experience as a teacher, advisor, scholar, and administrator. She is clearly well prepared to serve and lead Sewanee’s distinguished faculty and students." A native of Wilburton, Oklahoma, Kipp was awarded a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1968. She earned a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976, when she began teaching at Kenyon College. She was named associate provost last year. A prolific scholar, Kipp is author of two books, The Early Years of a Dutch Colonial Mission: The Karo Field (1990) and Dissociated Identities: Ethnicity, Religion, and Class in an Indonesian Society (1993). Both were published by the University of Michigan Press, and the latter was named by Choice as one of the “Best Academic Books of the Year.” She is also co-editor of two collections of anthropological studies of Indonesian peoples and religions, and she has published numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and reviews. Kipp's awards include a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. She is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association. She has served as a consultant and evaluator for programs in anthropology, Asian studies, and cultural studies at many universities in the U.S. and abroad. She is co-editor of the University of Michigan/University of Hawaii series on Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory. "Rita Kipp is an accomplished teacher-scholar," said Charles Perry, professor of history and chairman of the search committee that helped select Kipp. "A national leader in her discipline of anthropology and the interdisciplinary field of Asian studies, she will bring energy, experience, and vision to the dean's position. I am very pleased that the search concluded so successfully." Her husband, Richard Kipp, is also an anthropologist and is serving as a financial consultant. They have three children: a married son and twins who are seniors at Oberlin College. She will begin her service as dean on July 1.

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