Robert Vargas, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, has been appointed to the role of deputy dean by Amanda Woodward, Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences and William S. Gray Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology. The role is effective July 1, 2021 for a term of three years.
Vargas’ portfolio will focus on graduate education. He will work with students, departments, the dean of students' team, and broader partners across campus to strengthen and sustain graduate programs in SSD.
Vargas is a sociologist who engages innovative methods, qualitative and quantitative, to address questions on cities, law, and race, especially through a spatial lens. To date, his work has focused on violent crime and health care. His multi award-winning book Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio brought a political analysis to the study of urban violence by showing how ward redistricting shapes levels of block-level violence in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. In 2020, he was a recipient of UChicago’s David Hoeft Award for Newly Tenured Faculty. Prior to joining UChicago as a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in 2017, he was on the faculty at the University Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Notre Dame, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy at Harvard University.
Vargas will join Mark Bradley, Mark Hansen, and Katherine Kinzler as a deputy dean in the Division. Mark Bradley and Mark Hansen have each agreed to extend their term through the 2021-2022 academic year. Professor Bradley will continue to provide leadership on initiatives for diversity, inclusion, and climate as well as doctoral and post-graduate training programs. Professor Hansen will continue his work as Executive Director of MA Programs in the Social Sciences and faculty director of the MAPSS Program. Professor Kinzler provides leadership on the division’s research initiatives, alumni relations, and public engagement portfolio.