Professor of Psychology Appointed as Dean of Lincoln Center in Grimes’s Leave of Absence

Dean Robert R. Grimes, S.J. (top left) is the longest serving Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. (KYLE MORRISON/THE OBSERVER)

By COLIN SHEELEY
News Editor

Dean Robert R. Grimes, S.J. will take a leave of absence for the 2018 spring semester, according to an email statement issued from the Office of the Provost by Stephen J. Freedman, PhD and Fordham University President President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Father Grimes, who has served as Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center for 20 years, will be replaced by Frederick J. Wertz, PhD, a professor of psychology.

Dr. Wertz has previously served in several interim and official administrative positions, including a six-year appointment as Associate Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center from 2002-2008. Currently based at the Rose Hill campus, Dr. Wertz will assume acting duty as of Monday, Jan. 29.

In the statement, Dr. Freedman and Father McShane affirm that in his appointment, “Dr. Wertz brings long experience and a steady hand to the dean’s office.”

Arriving at Fordham University in 1985, the tenured Dr. Wertz has taught a multitude of courses in psychology spanning from Introductory Psychology to Psychology & Literature of Horror. In addition, he has published “extensively” on the subjects of psychology, research and qualitative inquiry.

In 2014, the Society for Humanistic Psychology presented Dr. Wertz with the Rollo May Award, for his “independent and outstanding pursuit of new frontiers in humanistic psychology.” He won a Outstanding Professor and Mentor Award from the Fordham Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

Father Grimes is the longest serving Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. The statement makes neither confirmation nor denial of a possible reappointment following spring semester.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

The full text from the Office of the Provost is below:

Dear Members of the Fordham Community,

Father McShane and I are writing to inform you that Frederick J. Wertz, Ph.D., professor of psychology, will serve as acting dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, as of Monday, January 29. Father Grimes, the college’s longest-serving dean, will be on a leave of absence during the Spring semester.

Dr. Wertz came to Fordham in 1985, and received tenure in 1988. He earned his doctorate from Duquesne University in 1982. During his time at Fordham, Dr. Wertz has taught courses such as Introductory Psychology, Sport Psychology, Cults & Religion, Freudian Case History, and Psychology & Literature of Horror. He has published extensively, most recently “Research methods for person-centered healthcare science: Fordham studies of transcendence and suffering,” which appeared in Phenomenology and the Social Foundations of Psychiatry (Bloomsbury, 2017).

In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Wertz has held numerous administrative positions, including interim chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, from 2014-2015; interim chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, 2011-2013; chair of the Department of Psychology, from 2002-2008; and Associate Dean, Fordham College at Lincoln Center.

Dr. Wertz has earned awards such as the Rollo May Award, which the Society for Humanistic Psychology presented to him in 2014, and the 2006 Outstanding Professor and Mentor Award from the Fordham Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Wertz brings long experience and a steady hand to the dean’s office. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Wertz in his new role.

Sincerely,

Stephen Freedman, Ph.D.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

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