Shakespeare scholar Peter Holland appointed acting dean of Graduate School

Author: Arts and Letters


Peter Holland, McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed acting dean of the University’s Graduate School, according to Provost Thomas G. Burish.

“Peter is an eminent scholar as well as a respected leader who will bring a vibrant, forward-looking and international perspective to his work as acting dean,” Burish said. “He has been integral to the advancement and enhancement of the performing arts at the University, and I am confident that, even in a short-term capacity, he will contribute greatly to graduate studies. I am most appreciative of his willingness to serve Notre Dame in this important fashion.”

As acting dean, Holland will oversee the development and support of all graduate programs at Notre Dame. The Graduate School is composed of four divisions – engineering, humanities, science and social science – and the School of Architecture, and it embraces 23 doctoral and 46 master’s degree programs in and among 35 departments, institutes and programs.

The University recently separated the leadership responsibilities for the Graduate School and for research activity. Robert Bernhard was elected in May as the first vice president for research. A committee will be formed this fall to lead the search for a permanent dean of the Graduate School.

“I am thrilled to be taking on this responsibility at such an exciting time for Notre Dame’s Graduate School as it marks a new stage in its development,” Holland said. “It will be wonderful to be working closely with and for graduate students across the University.”

An internationally renowned Shakespearean scholar, Holland currently is chair of the Department of Film, Television and Theatre and also holds a concurrent appointment in the Department of English. He serves as academic director of Actors From The London Stage, the touring Shakespeare theater company that makes its U.S. home at Notre Dame.

Holland, who earned his doctorate at the University of Cambridge, came to Notre Dame in 2002. He previously served as director of The Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is a textual scholar whose edition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is considered one of the finest in modern times.

Acclaimed for his performance-oriented Shakespearean criticism, Holland currently is president of the Shakespeare Association of America and editor of Shakespeare Survey, one of the world’s leading journals in the field.

Established in 1918, the Graduate School enrolls approximately 1,700 degree-seeking students. Some 98 percent are full time, 80 percent are pursuing a doctorate, 41 percent are women, and 36 percent are international students. Among U.S. students, 15 percent are from underrepresented groups. Four-year, 12-month fellowships are awarded to the top 10 percent of each incoming class, and more than 85 percent of Notre Dame graduate students are funded during the academic year, allowing them to take courses and conduct research on a full-time basis.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on August 31, 2007.