Peter Larson, chair of the Department of History since 2016, has been reappointed.
The decision follows an assessment of Larson and the department under his leadership. The process included feedback from faculty and staff from inside and outside the department.
The committee that oversaw Larson’s five-year assessment found him to be a fair and even-handed leader who keeps his department running smoothly and places an emphasis on mentorship, noting that “all the staff and faculty we spoke to enthusiastically wish Dr. Larson to continue as chair.”
Jeff Moore, dean of the UCF College of Arts and Humanities, noted: “Peter’s first term was marked by excellent leadership and hires that strengthened the department. The history department continues to make strides in interfacing and impacting the community through various projects and presentations. I look forward to seeing the faculty in the department make even more of an impact over the next five years.”
For the last five years, Larson has led the Department of History, a large department that boasts a number of successful academic programs including a BA and MA in history, a public history program and six interdisciplinary programs. In addition, he has continued to pursue his own research activities, focusing on medieval and early modern England, legal history and social and economic history. His latest book, Rethinking the Great Transition: Community and Economic Growth in Durham, 1349-1660, will be published by Oxford University Press in January 2022.
Larson’s vision focuses on increasing course enrollments, increasing community outreach and collaborations, supporting diversity and inclusion, and increasing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research. In addition to fulfilling his expected duties as chair, he has mentored history faculty members to obtain grants and promotions, expand publications and develop community activities.
Under Larson’s tenure, the department established a new exchange program with a university in Ireland, successfully integrated the Judaic Studies and Africana Studies programs and moved from Colbourn Hall to the new Trevor Colbourn Hall.