Our cherished friend, colleague, and mentor, founder of AIS and its Executive Director for almost four decades, brilliant teacher and scholar, William H. Newell, died very recently after battling a long illness.
Beginning with its founding in 1979 and continuing for decades, Bill was the central driving force for AIS and, by extension,interdisciplinary studies in the United States. His exemplary record includes organizational and leadership accomplishments, grant seeking and acquisition to benefit interdisciplinary studies, workshops on the teaching of interdisciplinary studies, mentoring colleagues in the areas of teaching, research and scholarship, and service, encouraging and authoring scholarship on interdisciplinary studies, and serving as a consultant and external evaluator on interdisciplinary higher education. For more than three decades, he edited the Integrative Pathways newsletter, bringing the latest information about new books, interdisciplinary conferences, and new perspectives on interdisciplinary studies to members on a regular basis.
Bill’s role within AIS helped to broaden the scope and applicability of interdisciplinary studies worldwide and deepen the understanding of interdisciplinary studies among colleagues, colleges, and universities, here and abroad. He exhibited visionary leadership for the Board of Directors and cultivation of new members for the Board to bring in fresh ideas. He provided AIS an institutional home at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for decades, where he was a Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies.
May we all be inspired by Bill’s legacy to AIS and grateful for all that he meant to us individually and collectively. He will live on in our hearts and minds forever. An AIS scholarship fund is being planned in Bill’s memory. Details will be provided at a later date.