Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Richard Finkelstein

Dean Finkelstein serves as the chief academic officer of the College of Arts and Sciences, comprised of 20 departments and 200 full-time faculty members. He oversees all academic operations of the College in matters regarding the faculty, the curriculum, and academic programs, including those that serve non-traditional students and licensed nurses pursuing their BSN degree. His office manages programs that support faculty development, promote undergraduate research, and aid faculty in submitting proposals for grants. He coordinates relationships between the College and the University’s Museums, Galleries, Orchestra, and several Centers, whose Directors report to him.

During his tenure as Dean, Dr. Finkelstein has worked with the faculty to establish several new programs, including the Honors Program at Mary Washington; an M.S. in Geospatial Sciences; a BSN Completion Program; an interdisciplinary program with the College of Education leading to an M.S. in STEM Education; and several minors, including one in Social Justice. He has also worked to create Centers for Leadership and Media Studies, for Spatial Analysis and Research (CeSAR), and for Economic Education. He and a dedicated group of Mary Washington alumni have founded  an Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences, dedicated to providing support and advocacy for students and faculty. Working with numerous businesses, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit groups in the surrounding region, he has led the development of the Climate, Environment and Readiness (CLEAR) Plan for Fredericksburg and the neighboring four counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George, and Caroline.

Prior to his appointment at UMW, Dr. Finkelstein served for nine years as Chair of the English Department at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo, like Mary Washington a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. During his tenure he created a major in Creative Writing and a program in Film Studies, while also leading a revision of the Department’s curriculum.

Dr. Finkelstein has held leadership roles on several not-for-profit boards that support young children. A scholar of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, he has published essays and reviews on a variety of topics, including Renaissance drama, religion, rhetoric, and poetry. He received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago and his B.A. from Williams College, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with Honors in English.

Working with the Dean to implement the operations and initiatives of Arts and Sciences are Grant Woodwell, Associate Dean and Professor of Geology, and Office Manager, Martha Link.