Christian Brady

Photo provided by UK PR.

Interim Dean of the Arts & Sciences College Dr. Christian Brady spoke of his current role within the A&S College, the outlook for the college, and the search for a permanent Dean in a conversation with Anna Bosch, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs within the A&S College in part of the virtual speaker series “A&S from Anywhere” via Zoom on September 24th.

Brady was named the inaugural Dean of UK’s Lewis Honors College in 2017 after serving 10 years as Dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University. He previously was the Director go the Honors Program at Tulane University and an Associate Professor of Classical Studies and Jewish Studies at Tulane.

“This was an abrupt change [taking over the position of A&S Dean]. I was not apart of that decision making, but when I was asked if I would take on the duties of interim, I accepted, not because it would be easy, I knew it wouldn’t be, but because it is such an important college. It is my college academically, and it is vital for our University that we be strong and resilient,” said Brady.

In an email to the A&S College faculty on August 31st, UK Provost David W. Blackwell announced Christian Brady will serve as interim Dean of the UK College of Arts and Sciences, replacing Dr. Mark Kornbluh, as they search for a permanent Dean. No reason was provided for the change in leadership. Kornbluh will remain a faculty member.

“Effective immediately Professor Mark Kornbluh will no longer be serving as Dean of Arts and Sciences. I will be in touch soon to with information on the leadership transition, which will be a very high priority in my office,” wrote Blackwell.

Brady graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in History and Near Eastern Studies and received the school’s first minor in Religious Studies. He earned his master’s degree from Wheaton College in Biblical and Theological Studies, a graduate diploma in Jewish Studies from the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford, and a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies from the University of Oxford as a member of St. Cross College.

Brady also addressed how the A&S College would handle the 8 percent budget cut the Governor of Kentucky predicted for all state agencies and universities. An 8 percent cut for UK would mean a $21 million budget reduction.

“On many levels, the short at the moment is to hold because that 8 percent potential budget cut coming from the state is entirely contingent in many ways upon the federal stimulus bill… still waiting in Congress. If Congress passes that, it will reduce the deficit the Commonwealth [of Kentucky] is facing,” said Brady.

However, Brady feels like the money will come through and the cut will be a much lower percent.

“If the federal money comes through as expected, the actual cut might be as little as 1-to-2%, and that’s an amount the central administration feels they can probably handle internally. If the federal funds don’t come… the governor is not requiring specificity yet [on how they would handle the cut],” said Brady

Brady announced the A&S College plans to talk to its faculty members on whether classes will be held in-person next semester.

“We are absolutely wanting to respect where all of our faculty, that includes our TAs and instructors everybody teaching material to our students, whether they want to be in-person or not. There is a discounted tuition if everything is fully online. We are built as a resident instruction community, we’re not an online university and we value that, but we absolutely have to respect our faculty and instructors and what mode they want to be in,” said Brady.

Brady said he was not apart of the search for the new Dean and the A&S Dean Search Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the A&S College.

UK's Office of the Provost website describes the open Dean position, “The University of Kentucky is conducting a national search to identify a transformative leader to serve as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The college is seeking dean candidates with outstanding records of scholarly activity and administrative experience sufficient to administer the college and associated programs. Dean candidates must have earned the terminal degree in their fields of study and be eligible for appointment at the rank of professor with tenure.”

UK community members are welcome to voice their opinion on the Dean selection process by emailing provost@uky.edu.

After the A&S College finds a permanent Dean, Brady will resume his role as Dean of the Lewis Honors College.