George Farr, director of NEH's Preservation and Access Division, to serve as acting deputy chairman
WASHINGTON - Juan E. Mestas, deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has been selected as chancellor of the University of Michigan-Flint. Mestas has served as NEH's deputy chairman since April 1994. He will take up his new duties Sept. 20. George Farr, longtime director of the Endowment's Division of Preservation and Access, will serve as acting deputy chairman during the search for Dr. Mestas's replacement.
"Juan Mestas is a dedicated teacher, a skilled administrator and a lifelong proponent of the humanities," said NEH Chairman William R. Ferris. "He has served the National Endowment for the Humanities skillfully and graciously, and we will miss his wise leadership and good cheer. It is with mixed feelings of regret that NEH is losing a fine leader and congratulations at his success that we bid Juan a fond farewell."
As deputy chairman of NEH, Mestas was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the largest funder of humanities programs in the United States. NEH's budget for the current fiscal year is $110 million.
Before coming to NEH, Mestas taught at Oregon's Portland State University, and before that he was director of Educational Access Services, director of Educational Opportunity Programs and associate director of Student Development Programs at California State University. He has coordinated leadership programs sponsored by the American Council on Education (ACE); served as an ACE/Pew fellow at the University of Pennsylvania; directed San Jose State University's Upward Bound Program, which the U.S. Department of Education considered one of the nation's most successful college preparatory programs for economically disadvantaged and academically underprepared high school students; and chaired the Puerto Rican Studies Program at the State University of New York/Stony Brook. Author of El pensamiento social de Jose Martí: ideología y cuestión obrera (Madrid: Editorial Pliegos, 1993), he holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from SUNY/Stony Brook in Hispanic languages and literature and a B.A. from Universidad de Puerto Rico in Hispanic studies.