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Elizabeth Chilton, a noted scholar of New England archaeology and Native American Studies and associate vice chancellor for research and engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will begin her duties as dean of Harpur College of Arts and Science in July.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
New dean to lead Harpur College
March 7, 2017Tweet
Provost Donald Nieman announces that Elizabeth S. Chilton, a noted scholar of New England archaeology and Native American Studies and associate vice chancellor for research and engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will become the next dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences on July 15, 2017.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to take on the role of the dean of Harpur College,” said Chilton. “I am excited to get to know the college and campus in more detail and to work with colleagues there to support and enhance Harpur’s stellar academic programs, research and scholarly engagements.”
Nieman said he is impressed with Chilton’s energy, deep understanding of the liberal arts and sciences, creative approaches to enhancing graduate education and research, and her listening skills and thoughtful approach to problem solving.
“Elizabeth is an outstanding scholar and teacher who has been the successful chair of a large department and has excelled in several important leadership positions on her campus,” Nieman noted. “She is a great listener and a bridge builder with a record of bringing people together to take on big challenges.”
“The position of dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences is a key one for Binghamton University,” said President Harvey Stenger. “Elizabeth’s strong background working across disciplines will serve her well as she takes on the leadership of our largest and most academically diverse school.”
Chilton grew up on Long Island and earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in anthropology (with a minor in math) from the University at Albany. After receiving her MA and PhD in anthropology with a specialization in Northeastern archaeology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she accepted a position at Harvard University. After five years on the faculty of Harvard, Chilton returned to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she has been a member of the faculty since 2001.
Chilton’s research focuses on Native American culture, society and economy in New England from the end of the Pleistocene to the century after European contact. She has examined agriculture among native peoples of New England, including the development and spread of maize culture, and also explored gender, material culture and settlement patterns in Native American communities in the region. She has also written extensively about the theory and practice of cultural heritage management.
She is founding and former director of the Center for Heritage & Society at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an interdisciplinary research center across three academic colleges and eight academic departments.
Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, and other agencies and institutes. She is the former co-editor of the international, peer-reviewed journal Heritage & Society and an elected member of the executive board of the American Anthropological Association.
A successful chair of the University of Massachusetts Amherst anthropology department for six years, Chilton was appointed associate dean for research and programs of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2012. In that position, she had oversight of personnel actions in the college and worked with faculty on sponsored research and fellowship proposals. While associate dean, she was appointed by the chancellor as co-chair of a task force on resource allocation that developed a new budget process that was implemented 2016. In 2014, Chilton became associate vice chancellor for research and engagement, the position she currently holds. In it, she has responsibility for fostering international research collaboration, providing support and oversight for the campus’s 60 centers and institutes, as well as supporting and improving research development, administration and compliance for the campus.
Chilton’s husband, Michael O. Sugerman, will also join the campus as a senior lecturer in anthropology, with an administrative role in the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Enrollment. Sugerman has a BA from Brown University and a PhD from Harvard University in anthropology. His scholarship and teaching focuses on the archaeology of the east Mediterranean during the Bronze Age, and the anthropology of complex societies. In his administrative role, he will provide leadership in strengthening interdisciplinary undergraduate initiatives. Chilton and Sugerman will relocate to the area this summer with their son, Emmet, 15. As a family they enjoy canoeing, hiking and all forms of music.