College of Human Sciences and Humanities appoints Subramanian as new associate dean
The College of Human Sciences and Humanities at University of Houston-Clear Lake announced the appointment of Shreerekha Subramanian, previously a professor of Humanities and former chair of the Humanities Department, to serve as associate dean of the College last month.
Subramanian, a 30-year veteran of the classroom with 15 years at UH-Clear Lake, said that she would always love the classroom, so the shift to administration was not a decision she took lightly.
Known as Rekha to her friends and colleagues and “Dr. S.” to her students, she said she was settling in her new office in the northeast corner of the Bayou Building.
“I think of this as a time of exciting growth in our college, ever since becoming a four-year institution and then chairing my department for seven years,” she said. “I was awarded a research leave in fall 2021, and I came back rejuvenated. I feel recharged and ready to contribute anew to my college.”
She said she was working to learn the basics of the job and keep the college functioning. “I want to be the oil in the machine, but what I really want most is to support faculty strongly in a way that feels genuine,” she said. “I’m working with the Mentorship Committee as associate dean, so I can be partnered with them in those efforts. Mentorship is moving forward systematically and thoughtfully for new faculty and for faculty going through promotion and tenure.”
She added that she would prioritize something in which she takes great pride—fostering a sense of community in the college.
“In this coming academic year, I would like to launch talks and brown bag lunches to highlight the research of all faculty across departments, and ensure that our college's robust intellectual life is made visible and productive for faculty,” she said. “In that way, I’d like to foster community for students and faculty, and be actively participating in events toward that goal.”
Subramanian said she knew she would miss teaching students in the classroom, so she hoped that after a year in her new role, she could return and teach one class. “It’s a good, thoughtful way to have administrative leaders who are still connected to the classroom and to students,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to feel distant. Having an administrator who’s aware of what’s going on with students is useful for the college. When I feel I have learned my new job and feel confident, I will step back into the classroom and keep my connection.”
Prior to her appointment, the role of associate dean was held by Professor of Clinical Psychology Mary Short, who stepped in on an interim basis after the departure of Samuel Gladden, who held the position for 10 years.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity because I have had an interim dean who was fantastic and steadied the ship, and has handed me the baton,” she said. “I feel I am coming in a very good moment, thanks to (College of Human Sciences and Humanities Dean) Glenn Sanford, and a great staff. I feel privileged to be part of this team and I’m equipped to learn my job well.”
Sanford praised her institutional knowledge and record of distinguished service. “After national search for to fill the associate dean position, Dr. Subramanian was the clear choice,” he said. “Her record of teaching, research and service, combined with her ability to engage students, faculty, and staff to create an engaged community established her as the most well-rounded applicant and promises a fruitful future.”
Subramanian received the President’s University Faculty Fellowship in 2020, the President’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019, was a Piper Award Nominee Finalist for Excellence in 2018, and was the first recipient of the Marilyn Mieszkuc Women’s Studies Professorship in 2009.
“My mind is on supporting faculty and creating community, being a voice for the faculty, and keeping an ear to the ground,” she said.
Learn more about the degree programs offered in the College of Human Sciences and Humanities at UHCL online.