Canisius College Vice President for Academic Affairs Margaret C. McCarthy, Ph.D, announced Thomas A. Chambers, Ph.D., is the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. A professor of history at Niagara University, Chambers also serves as faculty director of strategic enrollment management for graduate studies and director of the liberal arts program at the university. He begins his role at Canisius on June 28.
A member of the Niagara University faculty since 2003, Chambers has served as director of graduate studies, chair of the history department and director of the master’s program in interdisciplinary studies. He served as the university’s associate vice president for academic affairs from 2013-15.
“Dr. Chambers has considerable experience in academia, as a faculty member and administrator, which makes him a strong fit for our Jesuit tradition of academic excellence,” McCarthy said. “He also brings a commitment to liberal arts and sciences as a cornerstone of higher education, and a collaborative leadership style.”
Responsible for enhancing the academic profile of Canisius, he will manage the implementation of new academic programs, and lead the faculty to further academic excellence in teaching, research and in service to their departments and programs. He will strengthen assessment measures to improve student learning, and develop and implement student support systems that improve retention. Additional responsibilities include fostering interdisciplinary learning and scholarship and promoting service opportunities and service-learning components of academic courses.
Chambers currently serves as president of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area; Niagara Frontier State Park, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Commission; served on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Path Through History” task force; and helped to lead the War of 1812 bicentennial commemorations in Western New York. The recipient of three National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks in American History and Culture grants, his most recent book is “Memories of War: Visiting Battlegrounds and Bonefields in the Early American Republic” (Cornell University Press, 2012; paperback 2018). In 2016, Chambers was elected to the New York Academy of History. He sits on the editorial board of The Hudson River Valley Review.
Chambers holds a BA in history from Middlebury College and an MA in history and a Ph.D. in American history from the College of William & Mary.
Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation.