Fritzsche Appointed Associate Dean for Faculty and Administration

Sonja Fritzsche, Professor of German and Chair of MSU’s Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, has been appointed Associate Dean for Faculty and Administration for the College of Arts & Letters, effective January 1, 2017, and will continue in her current role as Chair of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages (Ling Lang) until August 15, 2017.  Professor Fritzsche also will continue to serve on the Action Committee for the School of Languages until an interim chair of Ling Lang is appointed.

“Sonja brings a breadth of experience that ranges from elite liberal arts institutions to her role as a Chair here at MSU. She is a tireless advocate for the faculty with a compelling vision for innovative professional development and mentoring programs,” said Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. “During her time at MSU, she has demonstrated a capacity for collaborative leadership and a commitment to inclusion that will enable us to retain and recruit the very best faculty.”

As Associate Dean, Fritzsche’s main responsibilities will be to serve as a central administrative resource for department chairs and program directors in the College. She also will provide support and guidance to College administrators as they handle issues regarding personnel resources and space and will prepare background materials for personnel matters for the Dean, including tenure and promotion materials.

woman with a blue scarf smiling at the camera
Sonja Fritzsche

My commitment to diversity at all levels of the College is strong.

“The course being charted for CAL by Dean Long presents many exciting possibilities, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Linton, the chairs and directors, as well as the faculty across the College,” said Fritzsche, who brings many ideas and strategies to her new role in the College thanks to her work as Chair of two multidisciplinary departments for almost seven years and as Executive Committee member and 2015 President of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL).

Since August 1, 2015, Fritzsche has served as Chair of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages. Prior to that, she was Chair and Professor of German and Eastern European Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University.

“My commitment to diversity at all levels of the College is strong, and I recognize the need not only to retain faculty, but to ensure that they feel valued as contributing members of the CAL community. With that in mind, I aim to build structures that further promote communication and collaboration among our talented colleagues,” Fritzsche said. “My additional goals also include, but are not limited to, supporting junior faculty members beyond their department, listening to and addressing the challenges faced by associate professors, enlisting the perspective of full professors, and fostering future leadership in the digital age.”

Fritzsche has taught all levels of German language as well as upper division courses in 20th and 21st century German literature and film, German for Human Rights, and German Business Culture. Her research focuses on (East) German literature and film, Heimat discourse, ecotopia, and science fiction.

She earned her Ph.D. in Germanic Studies from the University of Minnesota; her M.A. in Modern European History from the University of California – Los Angeles; and her B.A. from Indiana University.

In her new position, Fritzsche will be working alongside Senior Associate Dean of Research and Administration David Prestel, who will continue in his role through August 15, 2017.