Mercy College has appointed Peter West, Ph.D., as the new Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. He will join the College on June 1, 2020 after being selected in a comprehensive search process with a highly qualified pool of applicants.
West has spent the past 12 years at Adelphi University, where he currently serves as associate provost for student success. In this role, West has collaborated with faculty, academic leaders and student support offices to establish a coordinated and equity-minded structure for helping all students achieve their academic and professional goals.
In his previous role as associate dean for general education and academic services for Adelphi’s College of Arts and Sciences, West worked with the Adelphi faculty to design, pilot and launch a reimagined first-year seminar focused on high-impact practices and student engagement — a process that initiated a broader redesign of general education at Adelphi into an equity-minded program focused on integrative, holistic and problem-based learning. West joined Adelphi in 2008 as an assistant professor of English and was selected a few years later to serve as chair of the English Department.
In announcing West’s appointment, Mercy College Provost, Dr. Jose Herrera, Ph.D., said, “I am thrilled to welcome Peter as the next dean of the School of Liberal Arts during a transformative time for Mercy. I am confident he will enrich the school’s programs with his distinguished leadership background and deep commitment to student achievement, and that he will act as a staunch advocate for our liberal arts faculty, staff and students.”
“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead Mercy’s dynamic School of Liberal Arts,” said West. “I look forward to working with the faculty to leverage the strengths of the school's departments, promoting and expanding the value of the liberal arts to the mission of Mercy College.”
Prior to joining Adelphi, West served as assistant professor of English at the University of Wyoming and visiting assistant professor of English at Emory University. He holds a doctorate in English from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree with honors in English from Wesleyan University.
West has published two major works: The Arbiters of Reality: Hawthorne, Melville, and the Rise of Mass Information Culture (2008), which was rereleased in paperback in 2015, and The Panorama: Texts and Contexts, 1787-1900 (2013), a five-volume collection he co-edited and authored with a team of international collaborators. He is also the author of numerous other scholarly publications on 19th-century literature and culture. Outside of his work, West is deeply involved with community outreach, devoting hundreds of hours to meeting with local nonprofits, community organizations, museums and corporate partners.