Orange Alert

Honors Director Search Continues with Finalist Visits

Chris E. Johnson, Danielle Taana Smith are presenting at open forums

Dec. 4, 2017, by Robert M Enslin


The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) continues its search for the next director of the Renée Crown University Honors Program with two finalists presenting at open forums.

The candidates are Chris E. Johnson, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and interim director of the Honors Program at Syracuse, and Danielle Taana Smith, professor of sociology and director of the Honors Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Each is presenting at a public forum, open to all members of the campus community.

Smith’s forum is Friday, Dec. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library. The event features light refreshments and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services.

Johnson’s forum took place on Nov. 30.

A third finalist, David Settje, professor of history and director of the Honors Program at Concordia University Chicago, has withdrawn from the search for personal reasons.

The forums are video-recorded for broadcast on the web. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to send candidate feedback to For more information, contact the dean’s office in A&S at 315.443.3949. For accessibility and accommodation requests, contact the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (EOIRS) office at 315.443.4018.

“Honors is one of the University’s crown jewels, and, as such, demands a strong, visionary leader,” says Karin Ruhlandt, dean of A&S and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. “We encourage members of the campus community to be genuinely invested in this all-important search. Your constructive feedback and critiques are vital to our success.”

The Honors Program is named for Renée Schine Crown ’50, H’84, a civic leader and philanthropist who is a member of the A&S Board of Visitors and a member emerita of the University’s Board of Trustees. Described as an enhanced educational experience for exceptional undergraduates, the Honors Program offers intellectual challenge and curricular enrichment through seminars, special cultural events and close contact with faculty and students.

Media Contact

Robert M Enslin