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Longtime English Professor, Alumnus Appointed Permanent Dean of Students

Irving, TX (Oct. 28, 2021)Gregory Roper, Ph.D., BA ’84, has been appointed the dean of students at the University of Dallas.

“I am excited to begin this new role at my alma mater and my professional and vocational home,” said Roper, who has served as a full-time faculty member in UD’s English Department for 20 years. “At few other schools is the academic life so carefully intertwined with the student experience, as was evidenced just a few weeks ago when students themselves arranged their own well-attended seminar on Beowulf as a way to have fun the night before ‘Dead Day.’ I look forward to fostering more of the ‘playfully serious and seriously playful’ spirit that represents UD student life at its best.”

Roper graduated from UD in 1984 with a B.A. in English, after initially starting as a biology and biochemistry major, and won the university’s first student-athlete award, now the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, as a four-year letterman and three-year captain in soccer. During his senior year, he was elected student body president. After UD, Roper pursued his academic interests at the University of Virginia, where he earned an M.A. and a doctorate in English literature. In August 2000, he returned to UD to teach, and joined the faculty of the Rome Program from 2005-07. From 2008-09, he served as vice director of the Rome Program and directed the “Shakespeare in Italy” summer program for high school students from 2004-17. 

“Dr. Roper has demonstrated a strong aptitude and passion for serving students, and I am thrilled that he is taking on this important role on a permanent basis,” said Interim Provost Tammy Leonard, Ph.D. “UD stands to benefit much from the gifts that Dr. Roper brings to the job. As an undergraduate alumnus himself and devoted faculty member, his love for our students and for the Core Curriculum and his enthusiasm for our mission are a true blessing for our community.”

Roper has been serving as interim dean of students since July, and was ultimately selected after a three-month recruitment process. His academic interests focus on Chaucer, the Gawain-poet and rhetoric. He has published essays on medieval penitential manuals and their influence on late medieval literature, on the Canterbury Tales, and on teaching survey courses and literary theory. 

He also has published a book, The Writer's Workshop, that uses ancient and medieval notions of imitation to help students write better, co-edited (with Associate Professor of English Andrew Moran, Ph.D.) The University of Dallas and Due Santi: Un Piccolo Paradiso in 2020 about the Rome Program and the Rome campus, and has two other books in the works.

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