RICHARDSON, Texas (June 16, 2005) – Dr. Brian Berry, a world-renowned geographer, economic and urban development expert and member of the National Academy of Sciences, has been appointed dean of the School of Social Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), succeeding Dr. James Murdoch, who will return to full-time research and teaching duties at the school following completion of his term of appointment as dean.
Berry, who is the Lloyd V. Berkner Regental Professor in UTD’s School of Social Sciences and a long-time leader of the university’s political economy program, will assume his new duties on July 1. The School of Social Sciences is one of seven schools at UTD and offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a broad range of fields, including sociology, political science, geography, economics and finance, government and politics and public affairs. The school has 53 faculty members and nearly 1,200 students.
“I am delighted that Dr. Berry has agreed to take on this key assignment,” said UTD President Dr. David E. Daniel. “I know Dr. Berry will bring the same skills, vision and drive that have made him one of the world’s leading social scientists to his new role as administrator.”
UTD Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal praised Murdoch for the “many outstanding achievements of the School of Social Sciences under his leadership as dean over the past nearly four years,” including the initiation of Ph.D. degree programs in economics, political science, geospatial information sciences and public affairs.
“In concert with these new programs, there has been a major expansion of the faculty, culminating in several outstanding new recruits for the fall 2005 semester,” Wildenthal said. “As a highly esteemed scholar in economics, Dr. Murdoch will resume his leadership role in that important program, with his contributions being all the more vital in the context of the new doctoral degree.”
Berry characterized his new assignment as “an extraordinary opportunity to leverage the rapid growth of UTD and the school to introduce additional innovative programs and add more top-notch faculty members that will help raise the School of Social Sciences to the top echelon of such schools throughout the nation. I am anxious to get started.”
Berry joined UTD in 1986, after holding faculty and administrative positions at Carnegie Mellon University (where he also served as a dean), Harvard University and the University of Chicago. He helped found and was the first director of UTD’s Bruton Center for Development Studies.
Berry is internationally recognized as a dominant intellectual force in the development of the modern discipline of geography. His early urban and regional research and associated work in spatial analysis helped spark the social-scientific revolution that occurred in geography in the 1960’s, leading him to become the world’s most frequently cited geographer – a ranking he maintained for more than a quarter century.
Berry has been deeply involved in urban and regional development planning as an advisor, consultant and expert witness, in both advanced and developing countries, with his influence felt in cities around the globe.
The awards and other forms of recognition Berry received for his work are legion. Chief among them are the Victoria Medal he received from Britain’s Royal Geographical Society in 1988 and his election as a Fellow in the British Academy in 1989. In 1975, he became the youngest social scientist ever elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious scientific association in the United States, and in 1999 he became the first geographer elected to the academy’s council.
A native of England, Berry earned a B.Sc. degree in economics from University College, London. He received a M.A. degree and a Ph.D. degree, both in geography, from the University of Washington, Seattle.
Berry is the author of more than 500 books, articles and other professional publications.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.