College of LAS « Illinois

College leadership

Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Feng Sheng HuFeng Sheng Hu

As Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dr. Hu is responsible for providing leadership for the academic mission of the college.

Hu, a professor of plant biology and the Ralph E. Grim Professor in Geology, joined the University of Illinois in 1998. His research integrates biological, geological, and atmospheric sciences, with the overall objective to understand long-term ecosystem dynamics under changing climatic conditions. Hu served as head of the Department of Plant Biology from 2008 to 2014. He was appointed associate dean for life and physical sciences in 2014 and was named dean in 2016.

For outstanding research and teaching, Hu has been recognized as a Packard Fellow in Science and Engineering, University Scholar of the University of Illinois, Fulbright Scholar, and Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science.

Assistant to the Dean

Paula HaysPaula Adametz Hays

Ms. Hays assists in the day-to-day operations of the college and guiding the implementation of policies and procedures. She also manages the office and provides oversight for civil service employment issues collegewide. Paula is an alumna of the college, having received her BA in economics.

Associate Dean

Karen Carney Karen Carney

Dr. Carney has responsibility for issues related to LAS courses and degree programs. She earned her BA in English from John Carroll University and holds MA and PhD degrees in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She joined the college as an associate dean in 2006.

Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs

Barbara Hancin-BhattBarbara Hancin-Bhatt

Dr. Hancin-Bhatt provides leadership for the college’s undergraduate academic affairs, including admissions, academic progress advising, career development, special programs in honors, international programs, access and achievement, and our first-year experience. The academic affairs office also coordinates and supports departmental advising across the college. Hancin-Bhatt’s research and teaching specializations are in second language acquisition and global studies, and she holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Linguistics and LAS Global Studies.

Interim Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Area Centers

David TewksburyDavid Tewksbury

Dr. Tewksbury supports the research, teaching, and service activities of the social and behavioral sciences in the college. He also supports the college's area research centers. He received a bachelor's degree in sociology and anthropology from Occidental College in 1985 and a master's degree in communication management from University of Southern California in 1992. He received a PhD in communication from the University of Michigan in 1996, and he joined Illinois as faculty later that year. He has served as head of the Department of Communication, along with two years as interim associate dean.

  • Center for African Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies
  • Economics
  • LAS Global Studies
  • Center for Latin America & Caribbean Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center
  • Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spurlock Museum

Associate Dean for Humanities and Interdisciplinary Programs

Martin CamargoMartin Camargo

Dr. Camargo provides support for all matters concerning faculty recruitment and retention, promotion and tenure, third-year reviews, and sabbaticals in the humanities and interdisciplinary programs. He also assists with questions concerning administrative structure, departmental planning, and organization. Camargo, who holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, joined the Department of English in 2003. Prior to that he was professor and department chair of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His scholarly work is primarily in medieval rhetoric and poetics and Middle English literature.

  • African American Studies
  • American Indian Studies
  • Asian American Studies
  • Classics
  • Comparative and World Literature
  • Criticism and Interpretive Theory
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • English
  • French
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • History
  • Intensive English Institute
  • Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities
  • Jewish Studies
  • Latina/o Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Medieval Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
  • Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics
  • Center for Writing Studies

Interim Associate Dean for Life and Physical Sciences

Carla CaceresCarla Cáceres

Dr. Cáceres primarily works with the college’s science departments to promote research, teaching, innovation, and public service. She received a bachelor's degree in biology in 1991 from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology in 1997 from Cornell University. She served as a scientist with the Illinois Natural History Survey until 2001, when she joined the Department of Animal Biology as a faculty member. She previously served as the director of the School of Integrative Biology.

  • Animal Biology
  • Astronomy
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • School of Chemical Sciences
  • School of Earth, Society, and Environment
  • Entomology
  • Geography and Geographic Information Science
  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience Program
  • Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Plant Biology
  • School of Integrative Biology
  • Statistics

Associate Dean for Advancement

Joan VolkmannJoan Volkmann

Ms. Volkmann oversees the college’s alumni relations, development, and special events programs. She earned her BS in music therapy from Illinois State University and an MA in speech communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been a member of the college’s advancement team since 1995. She received the LAS Academic Professional Award in 2010.

Director for Budget Resource Planning

Jennifer M. JorstadJennifer M. Jorstad

Ms. Jorstad oversees the financial matters of the college, working with the dean and associate deans to develop strategies for using funds to meet programmatic needs. She also oversees the processing of personnel appointments and assists units in interpreting policies and procedures related to financial and human resource issues. She earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Monmouth College and an MBA from Eastern Illinois University. She joined the College of LAS in 2016.

Director of Communications and Marketing

Brad PetersenBrad Petersen

Mr. Petersen oversees communications and marketing initiatives for the college. He earned a BA in English and MA in Communication, both from Illinois. Petersen previously led communications for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering on campus. He joined the College of LAS in 2015.

Director of Facilities

Derek FultzDerek Fultz

Mr. Fultz oversees all facilities operations for the college, serving as a liaison with F&S, capital planning, space planning, and general oversight of safety. He earned a BA in Biology from Blackburn College, which led to an early career in industrial laboratories and safety operations. He then served various roles in the Chemistry Department prior to joining LAS in 2014.


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