New dean at School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Dr. Brinda Sarathy, new Dean
of IAS at UW Bothell
Dr. Brinda Sarathy
, professor of environmental analysis at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, has been named dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell, effective July 1.

Sarathy succeeds Dr. Bruce Burgett, the inaugural dean of IAS, who is returning to the faculty after 14 years of administrative service.

One of the largest schools at the University, IAS employs close to 100 full and part-time faculty and educates more than 1,000 students each year. 

IAS is at the core of the mission and vision for UW Bothell, said Dr. Sharon A. Jones, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“When approaching this search, my primary goal was to find a leader whose background and values closely align with our cutting-edge School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences so that we can further advance the transformational impact of the liberal arts,” Jones said.

Sarathy said she was struck by how closely the mission of IAS resonated with her own work at Pitzer, a private, liberal arts college that is part of the Claremont consortium in Southern California. The “values and commitment to social and environmental justice aligned with me,” Sarathy said.

“I was also impressed by Bothell’s strong emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, and its track record on social mobility for first-generation students,” she said.

Sarathy received a doctorate in environmental science, policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley, where she researched race and resource management. Her dissertation gave rise to her 2012 book “Pineros: Latino Labor and the Changing Face of Forestry in the Pacific Northwest.”

At Pitzer, Sarathy also directed the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, which is a research and teaching center adjacent to a field station near the college. Sarathy is currently on an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, working on a book about the Stringfellow Acid Pits, California’s first Superfund site.

The search to replace Burgett as dean began last year. Jones, the vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, thanked the Isaacson Miller firm and the search committee at UW Bothell, particularly the chair, School of Business Dean Dr. Sandeep Krishnamurthy; Kathryn Rich, executive assistant who managed the leadership search in a virtual context; and inclusion advocate Dr. Wayne Au, professor in the School of Educational Studies.


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