Dr. Deborah Perron Tollefsen Named University of Memphis Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School 

Aug. 30, 2022 — Dr. Deborah Perron Tollefsen has been named University of Memphis vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, effective Sept. 1. 

“I am excited and honored to serve as the vice provost and dean of the Graduate School,” Tollefsen said. “I look forward to working with our leadership, staff, faculty, alumni and community partners to support graduate students, increase access and diversity and develop innovative programs that meet the needs of students and industry both locally and globally.” 

Tollefsen joined the Department of Philosophy at the UofM in August of 2002 and has previously served as the department's director of graduate studies (2005-08) and chair (2008-13). In 2015, she became associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and remained in that position until August 2021. During her time as associate dean, she also served as co-lead on the University’s Process Management Group. 

Tollefsen's research focuses on the metaphysics, epistemology and ethics of groups. She has published more than 40 articles and book chapters on topics such as collective responsibility, shared agency, collective knowledge and group minds. Her 2015 book "Groups as Agents" serves as an opinionated introduction to debates regarding group agency and is used throughout the US and Europe in undergraduate and graduate courses. 

Tollefsen received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from St. Anselm College ('92), a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of South Carolina ('95) and a PhD in Philosophy from The Ohio State University ('02).