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Chandra R. de Silva, chair of the Old Dominion University history department, has been named dean of ODU's College of Arts, Provost Thomas L. Isenhour announced.

The appointment will be effective June 25, pending board approval. De Silva will succeed Janet Katz, who has served as interim dean since August 2001.

"I look forward to working with Chandra as he provides leadership to the College of Arts and Letters and its faculty during the years ahead," Isenhour said in a letter announcing the appointment to the campus community.

De Silva joined Old Dominion in 1998 as professor and chair of the Department of History. During his tenure, he strengthened the research productivity of the department and enhanced collaboration with the Darden College of Education. He has served on the university's advisory councils for Asian Studies, Institute for Minority Issues and Filipino American Student Cultural Center.

Prior to joining Old Dominion, de Silva served as professor and chair of history at Indiana State University. He was a member of the University Council and dean of the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. He served as president of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and is currently a member of its executive committee.

A prolific writer, de Silva has published two monographs, dozens of articles and book chapters and numerous reports and short works. He is an expert in Sri Lankan history and politics, Portuguese exploration and colonies, and Buddhism.

De Silva received a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Ceylon, a doctorate in history from the University of London and a Diplome de Langue Francaise from the Alliance Francaise de Paris.

This article was posted on: January 9, 2003

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