English Professor, Associate Dean has Strong Record of Scholarship, Student Success and Community Engagement

A woman with black hair and glasses smiles for the camera
English Professor Sue J. Kim has been named the next dean of UMass Lowell's College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.


Media Contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations; Nancy Cicco, assistant director of media relations
A fierce student advocate and accomplished scholar who is deeply engaged with the City of Lowell has been named the next dean of UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. English Professor Sue J. Kim, who joined UMass Lowell in 2011 and has served as associate dean of undergraduate studies in the college since 2018, has been appointed the next dean effective Sept. 1, 2024.
“I’m thrilled to continue working with my talented colleagues to conduct world-class research and create high caliber creative work, while also providing a top-tier education for FAHSS students,” said Kim. “FAHSS has transformed and flourished in the last decade and, as dean, I look forward to continuing our progress.”
UMass Lowell Provost Joseph Hartman said: “Throughout her tenure and across the positions she has held at UMass Lowell, Sue has been a strong and ever-present advocate for students, especially those who come from underrepresented and under-resourced backgrounds.”
Hartman pointed to Kim’s leadership as associate dean for undergraduate studies, where under her leadership the six-year graduation rates in FAHSS increased from 53% in 2018 to 67% in 2022. She has also led curriculum innovation and expansion.
“Students and faculty across FAHSS will benefit from a leader with Sue’s passion, intellect and commitment to elevating fields of study that advance our humanity and deepen our ties to one another,” said Chancellor Julie Chen. “There’s no one better to lead such an integral part of UMass Lowell and our community.”
Kim oversaw the development of several new undergraduate programs, including minors in architectural studies, race and ethnic studies and video game studies, as well as a new digital media interdisciplinary major and a Bachelor of Science in quantitative economics.
She expanded the interdisciplinary Bachelor of Liberal Arts major, including the hiring of the program’s first full-time faculty, and introduced new concentrations in areas such as American studies, criminal justice and graphic design.
“As we looked at candidates from across the nation, it quickly became clear there was no one more qualified or who knew FAHSS better than Sue,” said Julie Nash, vice provost and co-chair of the search committee that evaluated candidates from across the nation for the position.
Kim holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in English from Cornell University and a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College. Prior to joining UMass Lowell, she served as a faculty member in the English department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In a February message to campus, Hartman recently thanked current FAHSS dean Luis Falcón, who has decided to return to the faculty and the classroom, for the college’s many accomplishments during his 12-year tenure as dean.