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NKU Honors College Names Founding Dean

Northern Kentucky University named Dr. James Buss as the founding Dean of the Honors College. He will assume the role on July 1.

NKU’s new Honors College curriculum provides curious, motivated students the opportunity to actively engage in their learning experiences and ultimately graduate as University Honors Scholars, a news release said.

Buss comes to NKU from Salisbury University, where he currently serves as Dean of the Honors College. He joins the university on the 35th anniversary of honors classes at NKU.

“We are very pleased to welcome James as the founding dean of our Honors College. He has helped Salisbury University in establishing its Honors College, and that experience will help our new Honors College grow and thrive,” said NKU Provost Sue Ott Rowlands.  

Prior to being named SU’s inaugural Dean of the Honors College, Buss served as chairperson of the Department of History and director of the University Honors Program at Oklahoma City University, where he was named both Full-Time Teaching Faculty Member of the Year and Distinguished Honors Professor of the Year. Since moving to Maryland, he has been elected to the board of the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council and treasurer for the Northeast Regional Honors Council. In addition, Dr. Buss serves on the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)’s Assessment and Evaluations Committee, as well as their Advocacy Committee. Most recently he was elected to the Board of Directors for NCHC.

“I’m thrilled to lead the Honors College as founding Dean. NKU’s curriculum addresses the explosion of pre-college coursework, an issue that has dominated the NCHC discussion recently.” said Buss. “The new curriculum provides students with the space to progress through the Association of American Colleges and Universities learning outcomes.”

Faculty members from over a dozen NKU departments worked to develop the new Honors College curriculum.

Buss is the author of Winning the West with Words: Language and Conquest in the Lower Great Lakes (2011) and co-editor of Beyond Two Worlds: Critical Conversations on Language and Power in Native North America (November 2014), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His scholarly interests center on the intersections of settler memory, Native American history and public commemoration.

Dr. Buss previously served on the executive board of the American Society for Ethnohistory as the organization's secretary and continues to work toward the advancement of scholarship on Native American and indigenous issues. He has appeared on NPR, C-Span 2’s Book TV and Zócolo Public Square to speak about his work.