Religion in

New Appointment

With unanimous support from his REL colleagues, Associate Professor Ted Trost has been appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences to take over as the new Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. His five year term begins in mid August 2009, with the start of the Fall semester.

Prof. Trost, who works in the area of religion and popular culture in America but who also has expertise in the history of Christianity, various denominational histories, as well as Christian origins, came to the Department as an Assistant Professor in August of 1998, also holding a quarter time appointment in New Collge, where he has long taught their creativity course. He earned tenure and promotion, to the rank of Associate Professor, in 2004. Originally from Michigan, Prof. Trost earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University and has written and/or edited three books along with authoring a variety of articles and review essays.

Ted is not only a familiar face in the College of Arts & Sciences, having served on its Tenure and Promotion Committee, but REL students also know him well as our Undergraduate Advisor. Ted currently Chairs REL's Five Year Planning committee and will head up the search committee, in the Spring 2009 semester, to recruit a Full Time Teaching Instructor.

Ted follows Professor Russell McCutcheon in the role of Department Chair; McCutcheon was hired into the position in 2001 (after the retirement, in 2000, of then Chair Patrick Green); the end of the 2008-9 academic year marks his eighth year in the position of Chair. McCutcheon was hired to help reinvent the Department and, with that now completed, he decided in the Fall of 2008 to step down so that someone else can lead the Department into its next phase.

Although Ted does not assume his new duties until the Fall seemster, the transition is already underway; faculty, staff, and students should therefore experience no disruption with this change in leadership.