The University of Mississippi has hired Lee Cohen, professor and chair of Texas Tech University’s psychological sciences department, to become the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He is set to begin his new post Aug. 1.
Cohen, who will also teach psychology, said he’s excited and humbled by the selection and looks forward to beginning his work at UM.
“I know that the appointment of a new dean is an important decision and I very much appreciate being given the opportunity to lead the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Mississippi,” Cohen said. “I am excited to get to work and learn all I can about the college as well as the traditions, legacies and history of Ole Miss.
“I am also very much looking forward to building upon existing relationships and forging new ones within the college and across the university and local community.”
Cohen has demonstrated exemplary personal and professional qualities as a leader and an educator, and the university’s faculty and administration look forward to his arrival, said Morris Stocks, UM acting chancellor.
“We are extremely pleased that Dr. Lee Cohen will be joining the University of Mississippi,” Stocks said. “He has excellent qualifications that will serve him well as he leads the College of Liberal Arts into the future. Dr. Cohen will bring a deep understanding of the values of a liberal education, as well as focused energy and enthusiasm for the continued transformation of our university.”
Acting Provost Noel Wilkin touted Cohen’s success as an administrator and also his distinguished career as a faculty member.
“Dr. Cohen understands the important roles that faculty play on our campus and brings with him valuable experience that will serve him well as he assumes leadership of our largest academic unit on campus,” Wilkin said.
Cohen holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California at San Diego. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from Oklahoma State University. For the past 15 years, he’s been a faculty member at Texas Tech. There, he has also served in administrative roles, which includes director of the nationally accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology, in addition to serving as chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences.
He has taught both undergraduate and graduate-level classes, and also has been involved in important research on nicotine addiction. He established a research program that explores the mechanisms that contribute to nicotine use, withdrawal and dependence. He said he has mainly been interested in identifying healthy alternative behaviors that complement smoking cessation efforts.
His wife, Michelle, is an occupational therapist and an assistant professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The couple has three children: Ross, 12, Rachel, 9, and Rebecca, 3.
For more on Cohen, read Inside Ole Miss's recent Q&A with the new dean.