CLASS Announces New Chair Appointments For 7 Departments

Class Announcement

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at the University of Houston proudly announces the appointment of seven department chairs beginning the 2024-25 academic year. These recently elected leaders bring a wealth of expertise and will serve their respective departments for the next three years, guiding students, faculty and staff toward new heights.

“We are thrilled to have such an exceptional group of individuals taking on these important leadership roles,” said Dean Dan O'Connor. “Their passion, vision, and commitment to excellence will be invaluable as we continue to enhance the student experience and drive innovation within our college.”

Four professors will be newly appointed as department chairs: Catherine F. Patterson (History), Scott Savage (Sociology), Alessandro Carrera (Modern and Classical Languages) and Arlen Chase (Comparative Cultural Studies).

Catherine F. Patterson, incoming history department chair, shared, “I am looking forward to supporting my colleagues, as well as our students, to succeed in their scholarly and educational goals. Helping to solve problems, connecting people with resources, and generating new ideas are all exciting aspects of the chair’s role.”

Three chairs were re-elected due to their demonstrated success and academic advancement during their previous tenures: Jennifer Vardeman (Communication), Margaret Blake (Communication Sciences and Disorders) and Craig Johnston (Health and Human Performance).

“In one of the Star Trek movies, the former captain of the Enterprise says to the new captain, “Don’t get promoted. Stay where you can make a difference,” adds Alessandro Carrera, incoming modern and classical languages chair. “I don’t see my new position as a promotion, I see it as the chance to make a difference.