Ruth Feingold was named dean of the College of Liberal Arts in April 2016. A professor of English, with appointments in women’s and gender studies and Asian studies, Feingold has taught a broad range of classes in literature and culture of the 19th-21st centuries. Her research centers on national identity, place and space in postcolonial nations — with a primary focus on New Zealand and Australia, but periodic forays into southern Africa, India and contemporary multi-ethnic Britain. Previously at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Feingold served in multiple administrative roles ranging from department chair to dean, and with oversight of areas as varied as general education, advising and academic services, and international education. She served as associate dean of faculty and academic affairs before coming to Willamette.
Feingold grew up in the Midwest, and has a long history with liberal arts institutions, having attended Oberlin College and the University of Chicago. She says she was drawn to Willamette by the clear devotion of its faculty and students to fully engaged learning, and the university’s unapologetic embrace of the liberal arts as central to its mission.