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School of Liberal Arts

Meet the Dean

Kathleen A. Tiemann, Ph.D.

Professor and Dean of the School of Liberal Arts


Dean Tiemann earned her B.A. degree in sociology from Grand Valley State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Western Michigan University. Her research includes six books and edited collections, over 60 scholarly publications and 70 conference presentations. Prior to working at Merrimack, she was a faculty member, associate dean and finally interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at University of North Dakota where she named Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, the highest honor awarded there.

Dean Tiemann is enthusiastic about the opportunities offered in the School of Liberal Arts and about advancing the College’s Agenda for Distinction. For her, service learning and community engagement initiatives are important aspects of demonstrating the value of contemporary Catholic thought and Augustinian traditions. Moreover, these activities help to bridge the college with the community.

Dean Tiemann understands the value of keeping curricula fresh and relevant. Combining classroom lessons with hands-on experience is an integral part of Dean Tiemann’s academic philosophy. This is why she encourages faculty to make in-class research part of the curriculum. Dean Tiemann insists that a liberal arts education is a practical education. As most people change their occupational identity approximately three times in their lifetimes, a foundation in the liberal arts remains essential.

With a liberal arts education, students acquire valuable skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking that can be applied to new challenges. Moreover, these skills do not expire. In comparison, some of the highly specialized occupations from 10 or 15 years ago no longer exist. Dean Tiemann is fond of quoting C.S. Lewis’s bon mot from The Four Loves: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art …. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

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Kathleen A. Tiemann, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean