UPDATE: Dean of MU Graduate School George Justice resigns

Monday, March 4, 2013 | 12:25 p.m. CST; updated 6:01 p.m. CST, Tuesday, March 5, 2013

COLUMBIA — George Justice, dean of the MU Graduate School, will resign effective June 1, MU Provost Brian Foster announced Monday.

Justice will take the position of dean of Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University, according to a news release from the MU News Bureau.

“I love working to advance the agendas of great research universities, so I’m looking for the next step in my career,” Justice said.

Justice has served as vice provost for advanced studies and dean of the graduate school since 2010. He has been teaching English at MU since September 2002.

Foster will immediately seek an interim dean and will start a full-scale, national search for Justice's replacement this fall, according to the release.

MU experience

Foster said in the release that Justice provided excellent leadership and accomplished a number of significant goals for the graduate school. 

In January, three of the four professors from the MU Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute sent a letter to Chancellor Brady Deaton calling for Justice’s removal from his position, according to previous Missourian reporting. The letter accused Justice of violating a section in the university's Collected Rules and Regulations.

The professors were Sudarshan Loyalka, Mark Prelas and Robert Tompson. 

Justice oversees the institute, which was restructured last March. The letter to Deaton claims professors were not included in discussions about closing admissions to the institute. 

Prelas said Justice’s resignation came as a surprise.

“Honestly speaking, I’m glad,” Loyalka said. “I wish him well, and I’m assuming that he’s taking a position that will be good for him and good for his constituents there.”

ASU future

Justice heard about the job opening at ASU last fall but has been applying for other positions since November 2011, he said.

He traveled to ASU once in late January and again in early February to discuss the job.

Justice said he made the final decision Feb. 25, but he and Foster waited a week to announce his resignation as details of his new position were finalized.

The Department of Humanities at ASU includes 3,500 students and hundreds of faculty, Justice said in the release. His new office oversees numerous departments, including English, which is Justice’s background.

“It’s a close link between my academic background and the job,” he said. “But the reason I chose this particular position was the size and the dynamism of this particular university.”

Justice said the ASU position has an entirely different focus than his current position because he will no longer work with departments across the university. In his time at MU, he worked with all graduate departments.

During his time as dean, MU gained membership to the Center for the Integration of Research, Training and Learning, a network of 25 doctorate-granting institutions funded by the National Science Foundation to prepare faculty members trained in science, technology, engineering and math for teaching diverse student populations.

He also helped develop the MU Informatics Institute, an interdisciplinary doctoral program among six MU colleges or schools that offers concentrated studies in bioinformatics and health informatics.

“Our science disciplines have been much more open into thinking about how their programs support students across the board,” Justice said. “I think science programs have been more innovative than humanities programs. That’s certainly something I’ll be bringing to my new position.”

Justice said he plans to continue to collaborate with other departments at ASU, finding ways their projects can intersect with areas of humanities. He credits his interdisciplinary experience with helping him get this job.

“My experience was something that I certainly thought was an appealing part of my candidacy,” Justice said.

He will move to Arizona sometime this summer with his wife and two sons.

Supervising editor is Karen Miller.

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