American University of Sharjah
Dr. Roderick S. French
Chancellor Emeritus, American University of Sharjah, UAE
Dr. Roderick French was the first Chancellor of AUS.
He retired as Chancellor in the summer of 2002. In 2007, the AUS Board of Trustees bestowed the title of Chancellor Emeritus upon Dr. French. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the AUS-USA Foundation.
Prior to his coming to Sharjah, Dr. French was Professor of Philosophy and Vice President for Academic Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC. In the latter capacity, he served as the second officer of the university and as chief academic officer for seven degree-granting schools with 1,100 full-time faculty members.
As a faculty member, he pioneered academic study of the city of Washington. He created GW's Center for Washington Area Studies, edited a GW Washington Studies monograph series and co-founded the Annual DC Historical Studies Conference. He was given a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the Cultural Life of Washington by The Washington Review (1979) and was the recipient of the First Annual DC Public Humanities Award from the DC Humanities Council (1988).
Dr. French also started and taught courses in GW's degree program in environmental studies. He joined with scholars from other universities to form the American Society for Environmental History in 1977 and served as its first vice president. He served on the original board of the journal of that society, which is now the principal academic periodical for scholars in the various humanities disciplines who do work in this field.
In his professional life, Dr. French has been particularly active in the humanities community. He has served as President of the National Humanities Alliance as well as consultant to such organizations as the National League of Cities and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He has served as consultant to various colleges and universities including an appointment by the Board of Overseers of Harvard College to the Visiting Committee for Continuing Education in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. French did his undergraduate work at Kenyon College, where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in philosophy and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He did his Doctor of Philosophy in American Thought and Culture (ATC) at George Washington University.