Dean of Weber State’s College of Arts and Humanities leaving to lead a university in Rome

(Photo courtesy of Weber State University) Scott Sprenger, dean of Weber State University's College of Arts and Humanities, will be leaving the Ogden school to become president of the American University of Rome. He starts his new job on July 1, 2020.

The dean in charge of one of Weber State University’s larger divisions, the College of Arts and Humanities, is leaving for a job in Rome.

Scott Sprenger, dean of the college since 2016, is leaving the Ogden campus to become president of the American University of Rome, the school in Italy announced Thursday. He starts his new job on July 1.

Sprenger “had the demonstrated track record as an innovative, strategic leader, with the energy and vision that uniquely qualified him to lead us beyond our 50th anniversary,” Neil Boyden Tanner, acting chair of the American University’s board of trustees, said in a statement issued by the university.

Sprenger, in a statement, called the American University of Rome “one of the most progressive English-speaking liberal arts universities in Europe.”

“I have always advocated for the life and career-enhancing benefits of international higher education,” Sprenger continued, “and it is my fervent belief that all students who desire a truly inspirational, multicultural learning experience should have that opportunity — and where better than in Rome?”

Madonne Miner, provost at Weber State, said in a statement: “Scott Sprenger has provided enthusiastic and community-focused leadership. Under his direction the college has evolved and grown, adding associate degrees that provide opportunities for students to develop qualifications in very practical areas.”

In his job at Weber State, Sprenger oversees a college with more than 2,000 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate students, studying communication, English, foreign languages, performing arts, visual art and design.

Miner also credited Sprenger for his role bringing speakers and entertainers to Ogden for the Browning Presents series, including New York Times columnist David Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow and jazz vocalist Alicia Olatuja.

Weber State has not announced who will fill Sprenger’s position. A nationwide search launched at the beginning of the spring semester, Miner said, and WSU posted a job listing on a higher-education site in January.

Sprenger was hired away by Weber State from the American University of Paris, where he worked for two years. Before that, he was associate dean of the College of Humanities at Brigham Young University in Provo.

Sprenger’s wife, Anca Sprenger, is a professor of French and Italian at BYU. She will be moving to Rome with her husband, along with their 12-year-old beagle, Barney, the statement from American University said. Their daughter, Anna-Marie, is a Ph.D. student in linguistics at the University of Chicago.