Aug 13, 2009 — Dr. Barry Eichler ’60Y, professor of Bible and ancient Near Eastern studies at Yeshiva College and Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, has accepted a two-year appointment as dean of Yeshiva College.
Eichler, a distinguished scholar and educator, joined YU full time last year after a 40-year career as professor of Assyriology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. An alumnus of Yeshiva College, he has had a longstanding relationship with YU. He returned over the years as a visiting professor at Revel, and Yeshiva College honored him in 1993 with the Bernard Revel Outstanding Alumnus Award in Arts and Sciences.
“Professor Eichler is an academic scholar of the highest order who is dedicated to building the undergraduate enterprise at Yeshiva and advancing the quality of teaching and research,” said President Richard M. Joel. “He shares my commitment to have the student experience shine with integrity and inspiration, and to ensure that our students will be welcomed at the finest graduate and professional institutions and launched on successful careers.”
While at Penn, Eichler founded the Jewish Studies Program and served as its chair for 17 years. He also curated the Babylonian Tablet Collection at Penn’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Also during that time, Eichler taught at Penn’s Law School, was a visiting professor at Hebrew University and a fellow at Yale University.
Eichler is the author and editor of five books and dozens of articles. Most of his publications center on the study of the Bible in its ancient Near Eastern context.
Eichler has accepted his appointment with a deep sense of excitement and responsibility. “Students and faculty are the heart of the educational enterprise. I eagerly look forward to working together with students in strengthening both curricular and extra-curricular activities at YC,” he said. “I plan to create a student advisory board to the dean that will help channel the creativity and energy of our student body as we partner in exploring ways to enhance the undergraduate experience at Yeshiva.”
Speaking of faculty, he said, “I am strongly committed to faculty development and the welfare of junior faculty, the successful completion of our curricular initiatives and their timely implementation, the efforts to expand our student support services, including faculty advising, and the continued development of rules of faculty governance.”
Dean Eichler will succeed Dr. David Srolovitz who will be on leave as professor of physics, as he pursues a high-level research opportunity in Singapore, where he will serve as Scientific Advisor to the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research’s (A*STAR) Science and Engineering Research Council and Scientific Director to A*STAR’s Institute for High Performance Computing.