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Lori G. Kletzer, a professor of economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been named Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Colby College, President William D. Adams announced Nov. 9.

Kletzer, who joined the Santa Cruz faculty in 1993 following seven years on the Williams College faculty, is a widely published labor economist whose research focuses on the way global competition affects U.S. workers. At UC Santa Cruz, she has served as chair of the Department of Economics and is currently chair of the campus’ Academic Senate. She is also affiliated with the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics as a non-resident senior fellow. She has also been a resident scholar at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, a visiting fellow at The Brookings Institution, and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Washington.

“Lori Kletzer brings many strengths to Colby, but I was particularly impressed by her strong teaching record at institutions committed to undergraduate education and by her distinguished record of scholarship,” said Colby President William D. Adams. “Her work with the Academic Senate at Santa Cruz also has given her important insights into issues now very much on Colby’s agenda, including especially curricular planning. I was also impressed by Lori’s passion for the undergraduate liberal arts college experience, which she encountered first-hand at Vassar and Williams, and by her keen interest in returning to this environment. Lori understands what we are up to at Colby, and I know that she will provide strong leadership and support to all parts of the academic program.”

Kletzer graduated from Vassar College in 1979 and earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. She notes that, given her experience at Vassar and on the Williams faculty, the Colby appointment represents “a transition back” to the environment that nurtured her academic pursuits.

“When I was a young faculty member, it was the respect, encouragement, and support of my colleagues, campus-wide, that allowed me to grow as a teacher and scholar,” she said. “The main factor that draws me to the Dean of Faculty position is the appreciation of the critical nature of a supportive environment for all faculty, and how that environment requires careful design and stewardship.”

“We all acknowledge and celebrate the connected, intimate, humane, energized community of the residential liberal arts college for students,” Kletzer says. “Nourishing a similar, but appropriately different, community for faculty is an intriguing task.” Kletzer highlights her deep interest in broadening diversity in the academy—among faculty, staff, and students—as another factor that drew her to Colby. “In any educational setting, faculty should be the center of diversity efforts,” she says. “Both symbolically and practically, the commitment to diversity carries more weight when grounded in faculty efforts.”

Kletzer will take up her new duties on July 1, 2010, leading a faculty with 164 full-time and 61 part-time members, 93 percent of whom hold Ph.D.s or terminal master’s degrees in their fields. As vice president and dean, she will be responsible for the College’s 34 academic departments and programs, libraries, off-campus study department, registrar’s office, institutional research, and athletics program. She succeeds Edward H. Yeterian, who will return to Colby’s psychology faculty after 12 years as dean.

Her husband, Kenneth Kletzer, is a professor of economics at the UC Santa Cruz. They have two children: Benjamin, a second-year student at UC Santa Barbara, and Sarah, a junior in high school.