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New English Department Chair

Lance Larsen completes service as the English Department chair this summer.

Profile of Deborah Dean
Photo by Marcos Escalona/BYU

On July 1, 2023, Professor Lance Larsen (Poetry, American Literature) stepped down from his position as the chair of the English Department, where he has served for the past six years. Professor Deborah Dean (English Education) now assumes the role as the new department chair.

Larsen started at BYU as an English professor in 1993. He teaches American literature, creative writing, and poetry. Larsen served as poet laureate of Utah from 2012 to 2017 and received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Sewanee, Ragdale, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In his tenure as chair, Larsen led an effort to restructure the University Writing Center and hire a new coordinator, Tyler Gardner. Larsen says, “In addition to excellent classroom instruction, we have spent much of our time and energies doing a more thorough job of mentoring students one-on-one, helping them complete internships, and providing them with lots of experiential learning opportunities.”

Larsen’s successor, Deborah Dean, is another long-standing BYU faculty member. A BYU alum who graduated in English education, Dean has had a long career teaching English to students in high school and junior high as well as college students at BYU. She joined BYU in 1999 and teaches English education and composition courses, focusing her research on writing and grammar. Additionally, Dean is a member of the International Reading Association and served as an associate dean in Undergraduate Education at BYU. The dean of the College of Humanities, J. Scott Miller, said, “Debbie has had many opportunities to serve in administrative capacities at BYU, but she also brings classroom prowess that makes her an exceptionally caring leader. I look forward to the value she will add to both her department and to the College.”