Peter Struck Named Stephen A. Levin Family Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

Peter Struck

Peter Struck, Vartan Gregorian Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Classical Studies, has been named the Stephen A. Levin Family Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, effective August 1, 2024.
“Peter is not only a distinguished classicist and award-winning teacher; he’s also a passionate champion of the liberal arts, with a proven track record of innovation and leadership, and great capacity to spark enthusiasm for the mission of the College,” says Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience. “He is well prepared to lead the College, and I look forward to the energy and vision he will bring to this important role.”
From 2009 to 2023, Struck was director of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars (BFS). He introduced important enhancements to the program, most significantly creating the Integrated Studies first-year curriculum for BFS students, which brings together related introductory-level courses from different disciplines; he also reshaped BFS into a residential program, in which the first-years live together in the same dorm, and initiated Ben Connects programs to provide support for career exploration. Other leadership roles have included chairing the School of Arts & Sciences Curriculum Committee and the School of Arts & Sciences Continuing Education Committee.
Struck’s award-winning teaching has taken many forms. He was one of the first Penn Arts & Sciences faculty to engage in online instruction and has continued to teach a summer online course via the College of Liberal & Professional Studies. His Greek and Roman Mythology massive open online course on Coursera has enrolled nearly 250,000 students to date. He has also taught Integrated Studies courses, including, most recently, Curiosity: Ancient and Modern Thinking About Thinking, co-taught with bioengineering professor Dani S. Bassett. For his teaching, Struck has earned the University’s Lindback Award, the School of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching, and the College of General Studies Distinguished Teaching Award.
Struck, whose scholarship centers on Greek and Roman history of ideas, philosophy, and myth, served as chair of the Department of Classical Studies from 2016 to 2022. He has published many works, including Birth of the Symbol: Ancient Readers at the Limits of Their Texts, and Divination and Human Nature: A Cognitive History of Intuition in Antiquity, both of which received the prestigious Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit for best book in classical studies. In 2023, he co-edited A Cultural History of Ideas: Volumes 1–6, with Sophia Rosenfeld, Walter H. Annenberg Professor and chair of the Department of History. The acclaimed work, which spans 2,800 years, addresses questions like how the nature of ideas evolved over time. It won the 2023 Prose Award for Best Humanities Reference Work from the American Association of Publishers. From 2009 to 2012, Struck founded and co-directed the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education, which worked to advance leadership in the humanities among early career faculty.
Struck will succeed Paul Sniegowski, who leaves Penn later this month to assume the presidency of Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, after seven years as College Dean and nearly three decades at Penn.

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