Robin G. Schulze, PhD, joined the University at Buffalo in July 2016 as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor in the Department of English. As leader of UB’s largest and most diverse academic unit, she drives UB’s commitment to prepare students to be active, knowledgeable, engaged citizens in a dynamic global community.
Over the last four years, Schulze has worked to keep the College strong. She has increased research expenditure in the College by twenty percent and has secured major investments to enhance the College’s disciplinary excellence, including funds to support the College’s first two female SUNY Empire Innovation Professors. While championing disciplinary excellence, she has also invested in programs that approach critical present problems from a variety of disciplinary vantage points. The College’s new department of Environment and Sustainability is a testament to that approach. She has been part of an ongoing deans’ initiative to raise PhD TA stipends across the University and improve PhD completion rates and time to degree. She has built out, with philanthropic contributions, an Experiential Learning Center within the College of Arts and Sciences that coordinates beyond-the-classroom opportunities for UB students, including national and international internships and project-based learning. The center has become a key point of contact for UB alumni and Buffalo industry partners. The Center closes what Schulze refers to as the “opportunity gap” for UB students, and makes it possible for them to pursue formative experiences outside the classroom they might not otherwise be able to afford. She is Co-PI on UB’s first ever Mellon Foundation grant ($3.1M) to develop a department of Indigenous Studies at UB that honors the university’s long-standing commitment to training generations of native scholars, both undergraduate and graduate.
Schulze holds a Master in Music and a PhD in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and began her career as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kansas in 1991. In 1994, she moved to Penn State, where she rose through all three academic ranks and became Head of the Department of English, a top-ten ranked graduate department, in 2007. In 2012, she moved to the University of Delaware and became the Associate Dean for the Humanities. At Delaware, she brought the humanities faculty together around a defining emphasis in the study of material culture that resulted in grant, foundation, and Provost-level support. As part of the initiative, she secured ongoing funding for what was then the University of Delaware’s signature digital public-history project, the Colored Conventions Project, directed by Professor Gabrielle Foreman. Working with the Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education, she served as Co-PI on a successful National Endowment for the Humanities Next Generation PhD Implementation Grant ($350K) to support a transformational inter-disciplinary doctoral initiative in African American public humanities and material culture. The initiative reimagined the humanities doctorate as a degree designed to give students technical humanities training through internships in libraries, museums, galleries, and archives and cross-training programs in digital humanities techniques, tools, and pedagogy. Of all the Next Gen grants funded in 2016, UD’s was one of only three supported at the implementation level.