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Dr. Ronald Dotterer

Department of English
Dr. Ronald Dotterer

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Dr. Ron Dotterer

Brief Bio

Ronald L. Dotterer, Ph.D.,  Professor of English at Salisbury University (1993-present), is currently in his 45th year in higher education, having served previously as Dean of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury University (1993-2001).  As chief academic and executive officer of SU's largest school he was responsible for developing 11 departments in the humanities, fine arts and social sciences, with 101 full-time and 65 part-time faculty, three graduate programs and 1,725 students.  Professor Dotterer has taught twenty-one different courses in the Salisbury University curriculum over the past ten years: a graduate seminar in Yeats and Joyce, a Renaissance  graduate seminar in the poetry of Donne, Herbert, and Marvell;  Shakespeare; understanding poetry, comparative world mythology, a two-course sequence in world literature from beginnings to contemporary times, a two-course sequence in British literature from beginnings to contemporary times; American Southern writers, American literature since the Civil War, modern and contemporary poetry; nature in literature, short story, and a course on the themes of love and power in literature. 

He chaired successfully (and with commendation from the review committee) Salisbury University's Reaccreditation Self Study for the Middle States Higher Education Commission (2004-06), which led to the re-accreditation of Salisbury for another decade.  

In 1993 Professor Dotterer came to SU after 21 years at Susquehanna University (1972-93), where he was assistant to the president, was founder and director of the Honors Program (1981-89 and 1993), chaired the Department of English (1989-93), and was Professor of English.  In October 2002 he was honored at Susquehanna University for his role in founding their Honors Program, celebrating its 20th anniversary, and for his design of its interdisciplinary and undergraduate research curriculum, both still in operation.  He served as an admissions officer for the City University of New York (1971) while  completing his graduate coursework at Columbia University.

Awarded an A.B. with honors in English from Bucknell University, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature, both with highest honors, from Columbia University.  Professor Dotterer was an American Council of Education Fellow (1987-88), editor of Susquehanna University Studies, an annual interdisciplinary journal (1985-94), and an Educational Leadership Program fellow (2001).  He has served as a consultant to more than fifty campuses on beginning, strengthening, and assessing undergraduate research programs, and has done work in this regard for the National Science Foundation, the Council for Undergraduate Research, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities. 

He has taught at University College, Oxford, and is author or editor of seven books on Shakespeare; Irish literature; Jewish settlement and community in the modern world; women, the arts and society; film, individualism and community; American jacquard coverlets; and undergraduate research. Recent articles include those on Irish writers and undergraduate research as a pedagogical reform.  He is currently at work on a book on Shakespeare’s history plays.  Professor Dotterer has received 24 grants, including three from the National Endowment for the Humanities and eight from the Maryland State Department of Education. He is the winner of the Christian and Mary Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award, the John Horn Lectureship for Scholarly Achievement, and the Phoenix Award for Editorial Achievement, the last given by the Council of Editors of Literary Journals and the Modern Language Association. 

In April 2000 he was elected Chair of the Board of Governors for the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and was re-elected in 2001.  A member of the board for the maximum six-year term (1996-2002), he returned to that Board in 2006 and 2009 he was re-elected for a third and fourth three-year term (2006-09, 2009-12).  He chaired NCUR’s Site Selection and Conference Oversight Committee (1998-2000) and hosted the 1998 NCUR conference at Salisbury University and NCUR 2008, which returned to Salisbury University on April 10-12, 2008.  He was an active participant in the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, regularly presenting workshops and case studies for deans and other academic leaders on arts and science colleges and professional schools and their interconnections, particularly teacher preparation. 

For eight years he chaired the National Collegiate Honor Council's (NCHC's) Publications Board, the group responsible for two journals, the National Honors Report and Forum for Honors, as well as books and monographs published by NCHC. He served on NCHC's Executive Committee, chaired its Small College Committee, its Finance Committee and served on its Investments, Nominating, Conference Planning, and Teaching and Learning Committees. He chaired a task force that developed a strategic plan for the organization's publications, serving on another focusing on the annual meeting and its role in the organization. He taught "Beginning in Honors," a course for new honors directors and new programs, at 19 successive national conferences. Professor Dotterer has been president, vice-president and executive committee member of the Northeast region of NCHC. His articles for the National Honors Report  include "Assessment: A Retrospective Look" and "Faculty and Administrators." He wrote a portion of the NCHC Honors Programs in Smaller Colleges and "Leading and Following: Pathways for Honors" and "Honors and the 'Typical' First Year Student."  He has evaluated and served as a consultant for more than forty honors programs, and has presented conference workshops on assessment, collaborative learning, honors curricula, race and gender issues, the senior year experience, undergraduate research, expectations of the first college year, film and various social, political and psychological issues, and leadership issues throughout higher education. 

He is founder of the Alliance for the Advancement of Undergraduate Research Activities (AAURA). a professional organization of individuals and organizations interested in furthering inquiry-based learning.  For nine years he was the convener of annual summit meetings of twelve professional organizations, including Phi Beta Kappa, interested in advancing the national agenda on undergraduate research.  He co-ordinated and authored the Joint Statement on Undergraduate Research Activities, endorsed by the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, the Council for Undergraduate Research, and Project Kaleidoscope.   Since 2013 he has worked with the Great Courses program on course development for adults of continuing learning in the humanities and the liberal arts.

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