Dr. Peter Parilla, professor of sociology and director of the Criminal Justice Program, has been named associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Parilla, who received the Professor of the Year award at St. Thomas Day festivities recently, will replace Dr. Merritt Nequette, who will retire at the end of August. Parilla recently was selected following an internal search open only to College of Arts and Sciences faculty.

A 1972 magna cum laude graduate of St. Thomas, Parilla started teaching at St. Thomas as an adjunct faculty member in 1977; he joined the faculty full-time in 1982 after completing a doctorate at the University of Minnesota.

During his St. Thomas career, he has served on major standing committees, including the Faculty Affairs Committee, which he chaired. He also served on the Undergraduate Planning and Policy Committee and the Educational Policy Committee, the Academic Council, the Faculty Development Committee, the Undergraduate Studies Committee (which he now will chair as associate dean), the University Senate and the College Senate, which he chaired. He has been chair of the Sociology Department and has served on the Strategical Planning Steering Committee; he currently serves on the North Central Accreditation Committee on Planning and has been a member of several advisory committees and boards as well as more than a half-dozen search committees.

"I am just delighted to have someone with the breadth and depth of Peter’s experience working with me in the dean’s office," said Dr. Thomas Connery, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "It is just about impossible to replace someone like Merritt Nequette, who has a remarkable institutional memory and never misses a detail. But Pete is highly regarded across the college, and I know department chairs and faculty will be pleased to know that he will succeed Merritt."