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May 24, 2024

Yen-Hwei Lin recommended as interim dean of MSU’s College of Arts and Letters

Yen-Hwei Lin has been recommended to serve as interim dean of Michigan State University’s College of Arts and Letters, effective June 10. She will assume the role of interim dean designee until the Board of Trustees meeting on June 28. Pending board approval, Lin will succeed Christopher Long, who has served as dean since July 2015 and has accepted a position at the University of Oregon to serve as its provost and senior vice president beginning in mid-June.

Yen-Hwei Lin.
Yen-Hwei Lin. Courtesy photo.

A professor of linguistics, Lin has chaired the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Letters since 2018. In the chairperson role, Lin has been responsible for overseeing the academic operation of the department; long-range and strategic planning for the development of departmental programs; preparing and administering the budget; faculty and staff recruitment and annual reviews; and supervising course schedule preparations and teaching assignments. She has served in additional administrative roles within the department, including department coordinator, associate chair, director of graduate studies for linguistics and coordinator of the Chinese program. She was also a Big Ten Academic Alliance, or BTAA, Academic Leadership Program Fellow, a BTAA Department Executive Officer Program member and a Lilly Teaching Fellow.

Lin earned her doctorate in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin and came to Michigan State University in 1989. Her research focuses on phonological theory and phonological patterns in Chinese languages, with additional interests in phonetics, sociolinguistics and cognitive science. She has been co-director of the Phonology-Phonetics Research Group and Experimental Lab in the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures; core faculty of MSU’s Cognitive Science Program; affiliated faculty of the Second Language Studies Program; and a core faculty member of MSU’s Asian Studies Center.

“In her leadership role in the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures, Dr. Lin has worked to promote the diversity and global reach of the department’s programming and to advance academic excellence and student success,” said MSU Interim Provost Thomas Jeitschko. “She is committed to enhancing undergraduate and graduate education and to fostering community outreach and engagement. I am confident that her knowledge about, leadership experience within and familiarity with the College of Arts and Letters will provide stability and continuity for the college during this time of transition.”

As an established scholar in Chinese linguistics nationally and internationally, Lin currently serves as co-editor of Lingua Sinica, associate editor of Language and Linguistics and is on the editorial board of the Journal of East Asian Linguistics. Since 2017, she has been a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Linguistics at Academia Sinica in Taiwan. She has published widely in journals and book volumes and is the author of “The Sounds of Chinese” (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and co-editor of “The Cambridge Handbook of Chinese Linguistics” (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

“It will be an honor to serve the College of Arts and Letters during this transitional period,” said Lin. “I look forward to partnering with the college’s exceptional faculty, staff, students, leaders and alumni to continue with the excellent work we have done and move forward with our collective vision and strategic plan.”

An acting chair for the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures will be appointed soon. A national search for the next dean of the College of Arts and Letters will begin in the fall.

By: Jenny Jimenez

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