AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Richard W. Lariviere, a scholar of Asian studies and an expert on the information technology industry, has been named dean of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. The appointment is effective Aug. 1.
Lariviere currently is associate vice president for International Programs and holds the Ralph B. Thomas Regents Professorship in Asian Studies. He was director of UT Austin’s Center for Asian Studies, a program teaching courses in 25 disciplines and fields, from 1986 to 1994.
The College of Liberal Arts is the largest college on campus with 12,000 students and 600 faculty. Lariviere replaces Dr. Judith Langlois, who has served as dean ad interim since October 1998.
In making the appointment, UT Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson called Lariviere “one of the most talented, richly experienced administrators on campus.
“His strengths provide an ideal match for the challenging tasks that confront the dean of College of Liberal Arts. I am delighted he will be taking on this new job and look forward to working with him in this new capacity.” Ekland-Olson was dean of the liberal arts college from 1993 until his appointment as provost.
Lariviere said he is honored to be chosen dean and welcomes the opportunity to invest time and energy in promoting the agenda of the College of Liberal Arts. “The largest college in the largest university in the United States presents wonderful opportunities and challenges. I look forward to dealing with these with the help of a very talented and very smart group of colleagues on the faculty.
“I feel very strongly about what we do in the College of Liberal Arts. The subject of our research and our teaching is the most interesting and compelling of all subjects — human beings. Everything that we do in the college is focused ultimately on this: what it means to be human. No one can argue that this subject must take a back seat to any other realm of inquiry.”
The College of Liberal Arts is central to any university, Lariviere added. “We share enthusiasm, knowledge and (sometimes) wisdom with our students. In the process, we teach them to think critically, to argue convincingly and to write clearly.”
Lariviere received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Sanskrit in 1978. He reads and speaks several different languages and has conducted research in locations all over the world. He is the recipient of several fellowships and grants including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. He also has been a senior fellow at the American Institute of Indian Studies in India and has been a consultant to many corporations, both locally and abroad.
In addition to his numerous administrative duties, Lariviere also has written books, articles and reviews on subjects ranging from law and religion in India to matrimonial remedies for women in classical Hindu law. One of his books, The N_radasmÚti, won an international prize in Italy as the best book on India in 1989, and many of his articles have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Russian, German and French.