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New Provost and Dean of the Faculty appointed

Dr. Michael T. Orr, Professor of Art History and Special Assistant to the President at Lawrence University will become Lake Forest College’s next Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty, for an initial four-year term beginning this coming summer.

“Michael Orr is the very best person to provide the academic leadership we will need in the future,” said President Stephen D. Schutt of Orr’s appointment.  “He will be a great successor to Janet McCracken, who has served the College with such dedication and skill for the past six years.”

Born and raised in Great Britain, Michael Orr received his B.A. with honors in the history of art from University College London.  He then came to the United States and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in art history from Cornell University.  As an active and productive scholar, he has specialized in medieval English art and has a wide variety of publications to his credit, including book chapters, articles, scholarly papers and three co-authored volumes in An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII, c. 1380 – c. 1509 [Series editor:  Kathleen L. Scott (Turnhout:  Harvey Miller/Brepols)].  His latest work, a co-authored chapter on the methods used to illustrate and decorate late medieval English manuscripts, is scheduled to be published this year by Cambridge University Press.

Upon completion of his doctoral degree in 1989, Dr. Orr joined the faculty of Lawrence University, where he received tenure in 1995 and was promoted to full professor in 2003.  An exceptional teacher, he has been awarded Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award, Freshman Studies Teaching Prize, and University Award for Excellence in Teaching.  A very talented administrator, as well, he chaired Lawrence’s Department of Art and Art History for many years and also chaired university-wide committees including the Committee on University Governance; the Committee on Tenure, Reappointment, Promotion and Equal Opportunity Employment; and a special Trustee Task Force on Student Residential Life.  Last summer he was appointed Special Assistant to President Jill Beck and given responsibility for coordinating the work of Lawrence’s Strategic Planning Task Force, Long-Range Financial Planning Committee and Governance Committee.

Dr. Orr spent the 2009-10 academic year at Macalester College as an American Council on Education Fellow, one of only 39 selected nationwide.  At Macalester, he worked directly with President Brian Rosenberg, assisting with the college’s long-term strategic and financial planning, and contributing to the design development of a new fine arts building project.

“Given his outstanding record as a skilled teacher, eminent scholar, accomplished administrator and dedicated supporter of small liberal arts colleges, I am fully confident that Michael Orr will be an outstanding provost and dean,” said President Schutt.  “I am eager for him to join us, and look forward with great enthusiasm to this summer when he, his wife and two children will move to Lake Forest.” 

The College’s Board of Trustees will formally ratify his appointment as Krebs Provost and Dean of Faculty, and Professor of Art, at the Board’s meeting on February 25. 

“My warm thanks go to each member of the search committee, and in particular to Jeff Sundberg, the committee’s outstanding chair,” President Schutt added.  “Jeff and the committee set a high standard of excellence for future search committees, and they deserve a sustained round of applause from all of us at the College.”