Roger Williams University Hires Inaugural Dean of School of Humanities, Arts and Education

Cynthia Scheinberg comes from Mills College with 25 years’ experience as a professor, academic leader and nationally recognized scholar of literature and teaching

A headshot of Cynthia Scheinberg.
Cynthia Scheinberg, RWU'sInaugural Dean of School of Humanities, Arts and Education.
Edward Fitzpatrick

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– Roger Williams University has chosen Professor Cynthia Scheinberg as the inaugural dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Education.

Scheinberg comes to RWU with 25 years of experience as a teacher, an academic leader and a nationally recognized scholar of Victorian literature. Most recently, she has worked as Associate Provost for Faculty Development at Mills College, in Oakland, Calif.

In 2017, RWU created a new administrative structure for the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences, splitting it into the School of Humanities, Arts and Education and the School of Social and Natural Sciences. Benjamin Greenstein became dean of the School of Social and Natural Sciences, and now the university has hired Scheinberg as dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Education.

“This is an exciting time for the School of Humanities, Arts and Education, and I believe that Cynthia Scheinberg will make an active and effective inaugural dean,” RWU Provost Andrew Workman said. “She has an extraordinary record of leadership, having led the largest academic unit at Mills and a nationally recognized graduate program in creative writing. She has a national reputation for faculty development and is a highly regarded scholar of Victorian literature.”

Scheinberg will lead the effort to raise the profile of and recruit students to RWU’s humanities, arts and education programs, Workman said. “She is a strong advocate for the importance of humanities and the arts for all students,” he said. “She is effective in articulating how the skills in writing, deep reading and critical thinking prepare humanities majors to excel in a wide variety of careers after graduation.”

Scheinberg said she is honored to be named inaugural dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Education.

“I can't think of another role I'd prefer than advocating for the School of Humanities, Arts and Education disciplines, which have helped define my own career and passions for the last 25 years,” she said. “I am excited to work closely with the faculty to increase visibility and recognition for the extraordinary education the SHAE departments already provide to Roger Williams' students, as well as collaborate with other units on campus and local and regional partners to build, highlight and showcase the important roles that the arts, humanities and education play in higher education today.”

Scheinberg graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College magna cum laude, majoring in English and Visual and Environmental Studies, and received a doctorate in English from Rutgers University. After graduating from Harvard, she taught high school in New York City public school system. She has worked for 25 years as a professor and more than eight years in administration as a dean, assistant provost and associate provost.

At Mills, she has played many teaching and administrative roles, including the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Scholarship, dean of Graduate Literary Studies, chair of the English Department and director of the Writing Program. 

Scheinberg will begin working at RWU in July. Robert A. Cole just completed his term as acting dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Education, and Associate Dean Jeffrey L. Meriwether will serve as the school’s acting dean during the spring semester.