Humphrey School of Public Affairs Associate Dean Catherine Squires has been named interim dean of the School, effective Tuesday, August 24. Squires will lead the School until a permanent successor to departing Dean Laura Bloomberg is in place. Bloomberg is leaving to become the next Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I am confident that Dr. Squires will provide steady and collaborative interim leadership for the School as we bring to a close the national search for a permanent dean,” said University of Minnesota Provost Rachel Croson in announcing Squires’s appointment. “I look forward to working with Interim Dean Squires, the School’s leadership team, and all of you, as we begin this next semester.”
Squires, who has served as associate dean since August 2020, has led the Humphrey School’s response and re-entry planning for the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also been working in collaboration with Humphrey School leadership to shape equity and inclusion programming and policies, including new initiatives to support faculty research and pedagogical development.
“Serving as interim dean is truly an honor, as I have been part of the Humphrey School in the associate dean capacity and witnessed the remarkable education, outreach, mentorship, and more that this School delivers each day,” Squires said. “We have seen our share of transitions in the last year and a half, and there are more challenges ahead of us. We are poised to take those on, grounded in the School’s mission ‘to inspire, educate, and support innovative leaders to advance the common good in a diverse world.’”
Previously, Squires was a professor of communication studies in the University’s College of Liberal Arts. Her scholarship focuses on the interactions between social identities, media, and the public. She is the author of several books and articles on media, race, gender, and politics.
Squires is a curator for the Humphrey School’s Gender Policy Report and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study Advisory Board. She was the first director of CLA’s Race, Indigeneity, Gender and Sexuality Studies (RIGS) Initiative. She served as a faculty fellow in the Office for Equity and Diversity in 2012-2013, working to create professional development programming for junior BIPOC faculty.
Squires is also engaged in long-term partnerships with Gordon Parks High School and Hallie Q. Brown Center in St. Paul, to expand the understanding of Black history in Minnesota. In 2017 she received a 24-month Bush Foundation Fellowship to deepen these partnerships.
Provost Croson indicated that a new permanent dean of the Humphrey School will be appointed in the near future, and more information regarding that appointment is forthcoming.