NYU Appoints New FAS Dean

Antonio Merlo will begin his position this summer.


New Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, Antonio Merlo. (Courtesy of NYU)

Meghna Maharishi, News Editor

NYU announced that political economist Antonio Merlo will be the next Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science on Tuesday.

As dean, Merlo will be involved in hiring and big-picture decisions regarding FAS, which includes faculty of the College of Arts and Science and the Graduate School of Arts and Science. Merlo is currently the Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Rice University in Houston. For 14 years, he was an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Penn Institute of Economics. Merlo also served as an associate professor of politics and economics at NYU from 1998 to 2000. Prior to this, the Italian-born Merlo earned his Ph.D. in economics from NYU in 1992.

While a graduate student at NYU, he launched the university’s water polo teams. In addition to his academic roles at Rice, he was the school’s water polo head coach.

In a press release, President Andrew Hamilton praised Merlo’s appointment.

“[W]e could not be more pleased with Merlo’s appointment,” Hamilton said. “He’s an active and highly accomplished scholar; an administrator with a record of building academic strength, supporting diversity and academic entrepreneurship; promoting scholarship across schools and departments, and forging partnerships.”

The search process for a new FAS dean began when former Dean Thomas Carew announced his plans to step down last spring, although he agreed to continue as dean until his successor was appointed. A FAS Dean Search Committee comprised of 20 faculty members, administrators and students assembled and began to accept nominations for the position last July.

The FAS Dean Search Committee hosted open student sessions in October where students could provide insight on their expectations of a FAS dean. Even though these sessions were open to all students, barely any attended.

Merlo’s term as FAS Dean will begin this summer.

Email Meghna Maharishi at [email protected].

Correction March 15: A previous version of this article stated that, as dean, Merlo would be involved in designing curricula for CAS and GSAS. It was later clarified that this responsibility falls to the deans of those colleges, and the role of the FAS dean is less direct and more big-picture. The article has been updated to reflect this.