By Konstantin Kirilov
— In an e-mail sent to students early on Monday, November 9, Acting Dean Dr. Ramon Puras announced the appointment of Prof. Murray Pratt as the new Dean of Amsterdam University College. The position had been empty since Prof. Marijk van der Wende stepped down last December. Puras described his successor as someone with “more than 15 years of experience in senior academic leadership”, as well as a “proven track record of being able to successfully bridge the gaps between various academic disciplines, especially the sciences and humanities”.
Prof. Pratt arrives at AUC from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom, where he had been Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities since 2008, and continues to hold a chair in French and International Studies. Prior to Nottingham, he was in charge of the department of European Studies at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
In an official statement posted on AUC’s website, the current Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam, Prof. Dymph van den Boom, described the new Dean as “an excellent successor for Marijk van der Wende and Ramon Puras”, with “extensive leadership, management, teaching and research experience in the humanities”. His record, she added, is one that “demonstrates a commitment to interdisciplinarity, innovation and internationalisation”. Prof. Vinod Subramaniam, Rector Magnificus of VU Amsterdam, called Pratt “an asset to AUC, which attracts students from across the globe” and wished him success in his future work at the institution.
Pratt has published on French and international cinema, literature and culture, and is an active member of the boards of the European Comic Art Journal and the Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies. While at Nottingham Trent University, he established cultural partnerships with local museums, galleries and media production companies, and supported the launch of the National Videogame Arcade, a cultural center dedicated to the exploration of digital gaming. For his work with students in the production, dissemination and enhancement of Dawn of the Unread, an online graphic novel on Nottingham’s literary history, Pratt was awarded the 2015 Guardian prize for teaching excellence.