Khoury new HASS dean
By Dave Watt
Professor of History Philip S. Khoury has been appointed dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He had been acting dean of the school since last year, and associate dean of the school since 1987.
An advisory committee headed by Professor of Political Science Suzanne D. Berger nominated Khoury for the permanent appointment. Provost Mark S. Wrighton said the committee had enthusiastically endorsed Khoury for the position.
Khoury was out of the country, and could not be reached for comment.
He is perhaps best known among undergraduates for the lectures on the Middle East he gave last semester during the gulf war. Khoury's research focuses on the political and social history of the Middle East.
Many of the issues and trends Khoury will face during his tenure as dean surfaced while he was acting dean. For example, many Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences-Distribution (HASS-D) classes were oversubscribed last term, resulting in lotteries and student complaints.
Students have also lobbied Khoury to establish a permanent program in psychology in the humanities department, following the denial of tenure to Associate Professor of Psychology Jeremy M. Wolfe PhD '81 in 1990. Wolfe acted as coordinator for the Program in Psychology in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He has since been hired at Harvard University, and will continue to teach his always-oversubscribed Introduction to Psychology (9.00) class at MIT in the fall.
While acting dean, Khoury has also presided over a large increase in the number of students taking HASS minors on their degrees. Nearly 200 members of the Class of 1992 chose to study a minor, up from 55 in the Class of 1989.
Khoury also participated in the Faculty Study Group in International Relations, whose report, published in late May, urged MIT to continue its international ties in spite of rising concerns about foreign competition with US technology.
Khoury, 41, received his bachelor's degree from Trinity College in 1971, and his PhD from Harvard in 1980. He is the author of several books about the Middle East, and is the co-editor of Tribes and State Formation in
the Middle East, which was published in 1990. His most recent work studies the impact of war on societies in the 20th century Middle East.