National Humanities Center hires new director

The National Humanities Center on Monday announced the hiring of a new president and director.

Robert D. Newman, dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Utah, will succeed Geoffrey Harpham, who will retire next year after 12 years as head of the center. Newman will start the job July 1, 2015.

He was chosen from more than 70 applicants. Active in fundraising, Newman has been dean at the University of Utah since 2001. There, he also served as associate vice president for interdisciplinary studies, special adviser to the senior vice president for academic affairs, and a professor of English.

The center, in Research Triangle Park, is an independent institute for advanced study in the humanities. Scholars are chosen for fellowships at the center in fields such as ancient and modern history, language and literature, ethical and moral reflection, artistic and cultural traditions, and critical thought.

Newman earned his doctorate in English at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a scholar of James Joyce and 20th century literature.