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Howard Hughes Medical Institute program director, chemist named college dean

April 22, 2011

  • News Image
    Tuajuanda C. Jordan

President Barry Glassner announced today that Tuajuanda C. Jordan will become the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Jordan, who serves as a program director at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), will begin July 1. She previously served as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana.

“With the wealth and range of her experience, Tuajuanda Jordan is ideally positioned to lead the College of Arts and Sciences,” Glassner said. “I can think of few others who have worked at such a high level both in the campus setting and for a leading research institute. Like so many of the people who met Tuajuanda during her visit to campus, I am greatly impressed by her skill, her vision for the liberal arts, and her affinity for Lewis & Clark’s distinctive quality and potential.”

Jordan has been with HHMI since 2006. She most recently served as the director of HHMI’s Science Education Alliance, where she led education projects designed to enhance science literacy. In that position, she stewarded the National Genomics Research Initiative, a nationally recognized science education program providing research opportunities for undergraduate students. Her work on that model earned her a “Revolutionary Mind” distinction in SEED magazine in 2009.

Previous to her position at HHMI, Jordan was with Xavier University of Louisiana. She served as a professor of chemistry for more than 10 years before joining the university’s administrative team as an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Jordan received a B.S. in chemistry from Fisk University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University. She did her postdoctoral training at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. Her science research interests include protein structure-function relationships and metabolomics. Jordan’s research has appeared in top science journals, and she has presented widely on her research, science education, mentoring, and diversity.

Jordan said the caliber of the faculty and the college’s global engagement are what attract her to Lewis & Clark. While one tends to find a handful of stellar faculty at any college, she said she was struck by the exceptional quality of the faculty across all departments.

“The quality is not just evident in their credentials, but in the scholarly work they do in collaboration with their undergraduates—work that is published in top-tier journals and presented in renowned venues across the country and all over the world,” Jordan said. “The curriculum is forward-thinking. The community is thinking about global citizenry, leadership, and good stewardship.

“In all of my conversations while on campus, I could feel the energy, enthusiasm, and the anticipation of what might be attainable. Lewis & Clark is poised for even greater success in the near future, and I am thrilled to be a part of the team that will help to propel it forward.”

Jordan’s appointment concludes a search that began last fall under the direction of an eight-member search committee, with assistance from the search firm Isaacson, Miller.

The following faculty members and student representative constituted the search committee:

Liz Safran (chair), associate professor of geological science

Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell, associate professor of psychology

Katherine FitzGibbon, assistant professor of music

John Krussel, professor of mathematics

Rob Kugler, Paul S. Wright professor of Christian Studies

Lydia Loren, Kay Kitagawa & Andy Johnson-Laird IP faculty scholar and professor of law

Gary Reiness, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of biology

Mitch Reyes, assistant professor of communications and rhetoric

Alexis Sheek, French studies and political science double major

Jordan has twins—a son and daughter, who are now juniors in college. In discussing her forthcoming move to Portland, she said she is looking forward to spending more time observing and enjoying nature and less time sitting in traffic.