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International Scholar to Lead LMU’s College of Liberal Arts

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza to join LMU as new dean of Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts in August


Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

Scholar and author Paul Tiyambe Zeleza has been named dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University. He will join the university Aug. 1.

Zeleza is currently professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Previously, he was a professor at Penn State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The current president of the African Studies Association, Zeleza has taught at universities in the United States, Canada, Kenya, Jamaica, and Malawi. He has also worked as a consultant for the Ford and MacArthur foundations and as an adviser to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.

“The breadth of Dr. Zeleza’s scholarship and interests, together with the energy of the Bellarmine College faculty and leadership, will make the years ahead exciting ones,” said Robert B. Lawton, S.J., LMU president. “He will be able to build upon an already strong college to face the challenges of modern higher education.”

Zeleza’s academic work has crossed traditional boundaries, ranging from history and economics to human rights and gender studies. He has authored or edited more than two dozen books, and in 1994 was awarded the prestigious Noma Award for his book “A Modern Economic History of Africa.” He also edits The Zeleza Post, an online source of news and commentary on the Pan-African world (

Zeleza was chosen after a nationwide search to replace Michael Engh, S.J., who was chosen as president of Santa Clara University in 2008. Psychology Professor Michael J. O’Sullivan has served as interim dean.

Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Zeleza was raised in Malawi, the native country of his parents. He earned his B.A. from the University of Malawi and an M.A from the University of London, where he studied African history and international relations. He holds his Ph.D. in economic history from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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