Melina Hale

Melina Hale appointed next dean of the College

William Rainey Harper Professor in Organismal Biology & Anatomy / the College, and vice provost

We are pleased to recognize the appointment of Melina Hale, PhD'98, William Rainey Harper Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the College, and vice provost of the University, as the next dean of the College at the University of Chicago, effective July 1, 2023.

Dr. Hale has been a UChicago faculty member since 2002, and has led a number of initiatives advancing UChicago's research and educational mission, providing support to the Library, the University of Chicago Press, the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, and the Center for Radical Innovation for Social Change, among others.

She succeeds John W. Boyer, the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of History, who has served as dean for over 30 years, leading tremendous growth and innovation during his tenure. As dean, Hale will oversee the strategic vision for the College, helping advance UChicago's fundamental values and provide undergraduates with an educational experience that upholds the goals and principles of a transformative liberal arts education. In an email to the University community announcing the appointment, President Paul Alivisatos noted, “As a renowned scholar, educator and administrator, Melina has both cultivated a rich understanding of the University’s intellectual culture and made lasting contributions to it over her decades-long career here. Looking ahead, she will steward the College’s distinctive legacy and champion its promising future.”

A distinguished neuroscientist, Dr. Hale's research looks at the neural control of movement, and she collaborates with engineers to explore biological models that inform the design of engineered underwater propulsion systems. She is a member of the Committee on Neurobiology and the Committee on Computational Neuroscience, and served as co-interim director of the Marine Biological Laboratory. Dr. Hale earned her PhD in organismal biology and anatomy from UChicago and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Duke University. Before joining the faculty, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.