Clark announces endowed chairs

Clark University Provost Davis Baird has announced the appointment of the next holders of four endowed chairs.

Arshad Kudrolli has been appointed to a three-year term as the new Jan and Larry Landry University Professor. Established in 1997, the Landry University Professorship is made possible by a generous gift from Larry Landry ’71, M.B.A. ’75, and his wife Jan. During the 1970s Larry Landry served as Clark’s vice president for business and finance. He is also a member and past chair of the Clark University Board of Trustees. The holder of the Landry Chair acts as an academic leader for the entire Clark community and symbolizes Clark’s aspirations in higher education.

Kudrolli joined the Clark faculty in 1997 and became a full professor in 2008. He chairs the Physics Department, where he has helped foster active learning pedagogies in department course offerings, and he has also served on major university committees. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Kudrolli has been a visiting professor at the University of Liege in Belgium and a visiting scholar at MIT. His research uses both two- and three-dimensional imaging techniques and includes a broad range of topics including soft-condensed matter physics, granular materials, nonlinear physics, geomorphology, biomechanics, elasticity and crumpling, population dynamics, and patterns in biological systems. Kudrolli has received many grants and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, many in prestigious journals. He has led the creation of the “Active Matter” group at Clark, and is currently on the Advisory Committee for the Worcester Nanotechnology Board.

Richard Peet has been appointed as the Leo L.’36 and Joan Kraft Laskoff Professor of Economics, Technology and Environment. Established in 1997, the Laskoff chair supports a professor and program concerned directly with economic change, technological innovation and environment sustainability. The purpose of the chair is to investigate balancing the benefits of public and private ownership to achieve an environmentally responsible and ethical community.

Peet joined the Clark faculty in 1967 and became a full professor in 1983. He is a faculty member in Clark’s Graduate School of Geography. He has also been deeply involved in the International Studies Stream program, serving twice as the acting director. His professional activity has been extensive, with numerous journal editorships, invited lectures, and visiting appointments (including at the Australian National University and the University of Liverpool). Peet’s areas of interest include: social and economic geography, political ecology, liberation ecology, development theory, geography of consciousness and rationality, philosophy and social theory, iconography, semiotics, and critical policy studies. He has published nearly a dozen books including “Modern Geographical Thought” (Oxford: Blackwell 1998), “Global Political Ecology,” edited with Paul Robbins and Michael Watts (London: Routledge 2010), and “India’s New Economic Policy,” edited with Waquar Ahmed and Amitabh Kundu (London: Routledge 2010), as well as more than 100 journal articles and book chapters.

David Hibbett has been appointed to a three-year term as the Warren Litsky ’45 Endowed Chair as Professor of Biology. Established in 2007 through a bequest gift from the estate of Warren Litsky, the Litsky chair supports the work of a professor in the field of biology.

Professor David Hibbett joined the Clark faculty in 1999 and became a full professor in 2008. He has served as interim chair of the Biology Department and has participated actively in university governance, including serving recently on the Provost Search Committee and as chair of the Undergraduate Academic Board. His research uses comparative analyses of DNA sequences to study the evolutionary relationships of fungi, concentrating on those that form mushrooms. He is particularly interested in using phylogenetic trees to understand the evolution of fungal morphology and ecological strategies. The work of Prof. Hibbett’s lab has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and other sources. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, many in prestigious journals, and he has held editorial positions with both mycological and general biology journals. Hibbett has received several awards from the Mycological Society of America and is currently vice president/president-elect of the Society. He has been recognized at Clark with the Oliver and Dorothy Hayden Junior Faculty Fellowship and the Hodgkins Junior Faculty Prize.

Matt Malsky has been appointed to a three-year term as the George N. and Selma U. Jeppson Professor of Music. The Jeppson chair was established in 1970 by the Jeppson family and supports an outstanding professor in the field of music.

Professor Malsky joined the Clark faculty in 1998 and became a full professor in 2011. He serves as chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department and has been director of the Music Program. He has served many roles in faculty governance at Clark, including the Task Force on Undergraduate Education (2008-09) and the Committee on Personnel. Malsky is a composer who has written concert works for soloist and mixed-chamber ensembles, often with live and pre-recorded electronics with multi-channel sound diffusion systems. He has had many compositions published, recorded, and performed live. Last spring, the Capital Trio performed Malsky’s The Archipelago of Regrets (2010) at six venues including the Boston Athanaeum, Harvard University, Clark University, and Cambridge University.