The Office for Faculty Development was launched in the spring of 2011 as an initiative of then Provost Winston Langley. Prior to this, Dr. Langley commissioned the Faculty Development Committee to make recommendations for faculty development priorities at UMass Boston. The committee conducted a faculty survey to ascertain the perceived support and development needs of faculty at all career stages in both tenure track and non tenure track roles in teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity.
Dean of Faculty Rajini Srikanth, PhD is Professor of English. She earned her PhD in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and joined UMass Boston in 1998 after having previously taught at Tufts University. A renowned scholar, Dean Srikanth served as the founding Dean of the Honors College from 2013 to 2021. During her tenure as Dean, the Honors College doubled in size while enhancing not only the quality of learning experiences within the Honors College, but also strengthening its connections with and contributions to the entire campus. Dean Srikanth has served in numerous leadership roles on campus including Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs (2009-2013).
Her research interests and teaching span Human Rights and Literature; Multiethnic American Literature; Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature; Literature in the Context of Comparative Race and Ethnicities; Pedagogy of Literature, and Literature and the Political Imagination. She has a particular interest in South Africa and in the activist and community organizing work occurring there for the realization of rights.
Dean Srikanth’s publications include the monographs The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America (2004), an award-winning book, and Constructing the Enemy: Empathy/Antipathy in US Literature and Law (2012), and the co-edited volumes The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature (2016) and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights: History, Politics, Practice (2018). Her articles appear in numerous journals, including Frame: Journal of Literary Studies, Pedagogy, Journal of Asian American Studies, The Comparatist, International Feminist Journal of Politics, MELUS, and South Asian Review.
Dean Srikanth has been co-PI on grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the Massachusetts Department of Education.