Peter Blitstein, a member of the Lawrence faculty for 21 years, will now lead the faculty as Lawrence’s provost and dean of faculty. He was appointed to the position by President Laurie Carter after serving in an interim capacity since July.
Blitstein previously served as associate dean of faculty, beginning in 2019, and has taught on the History faculty since 2001. He has chaired the History Department and multiple faculty committees, led the Senior Experience program, and played a key role in guiding the faculty during the pandemic.
“First and foremost, the work of the provost and dean of the faculty is to champion Lawrence’s faculty so they can do their best work—whether in the classroom, the studio, the laboratory, or the community,” Blitstein said. “I feel a great sense of responsibility in taking on this role to support colleagues with whom I’ve worked for two decades. And I’m excited to lead the academic program at a time when there are great possibilities for innovative changes that will contribute to the success of our students.”
Blitstein is a historian of modern Russia specializing in the Soviet period and the history of nationalism and ethnicity. He teaches courses on all aspects of Russian history, the history of intelligence agencies and state security, and historical theory.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and Russian from Johns Hopkins University; and a master’s degree in political science and a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.
Since arriving at Lawrence, Blitstein has provided guidance on numerous committees including the Faculty Committee on University Governance, the Financial Planning Committee, and the Title III Grant Advisory Board, among others. As chair of the Instruction Committee, he was integral to helping Lawrence meet its academic mission during the pandemic. He was selected as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in 2013 and was placed at Vassar College, where he worked with the dean of the faculty and dean of strategic planning and academic resources—completing site visits at 40 colleges and universities around the country during his year-long fellowship.
“Peter leads with quiet strength and compassion,” Carter said. “His firm commitment to faculty excellence and the liberal arts will continue to serve Lawrence well into our future.”