Gregson Schachner Named Chair of Archaeology IDP

Gregson Schachner, associate professor of anthropology, has been named chair of the Interdepartmental Program (IDP) in Archaeology for a three-year term effective July 1, 2019. Schachner has been a member of the anthropology department for 12 years and has been “centrally involved with the archaeology IDP throughout his time at UCLA,” according to the announcement by Darnell Hunt, dean of Social Sciences. 

Schachner was identified as “the colleague to lead the IDP at this moment, as we endeavor to build on its excellence,” Hunt continued, and he noted that he was “especially grateful to Professor John Papadopoulos for his service as chair of the IDP since 2010. John’s visionary leadership has served the IDP well over many years…”

In a memo, Papadopoulos said: “I am delighted that professor Greg Schachner has stepped up to the plate as chair of the IDP, and I know that he will be a fabulous chair…. I look forward to working with him this coming year …and I wish him every success as the incoming chair.”

“John has offered to help me figure things out,” Schachner added. “This has been a successful program, and in the last NRC (National Research Council) ratings, we were highly ranked in archaeology. So that sort of says keep on doing what you are doing. I want to see what students want out of the program.” There are issues being discussed on campus about graduate education and support, and Schachner noted that he wants to dig deeper into these issues. Mentoring graduate students and helping them in their careers, “sounds great to me,” he pointed out. This appointment will allow him to spend more time with graduate students and teach a little bit less.

 “The IDP is intended to bring together archaeologists from different departments on campus, which is somewhat of an unusual model, given that archaeologists are split between anthropology and classics, for example,” he explained. “On most campuses, those groups would almost never talk.

“We draw students that sometimes look like they fit in some of those traditional fields, and sometimes they don’t. But really I think it gives them an opportunity to become fluent in different kinds of archaeology,” he continued.

Willeke Wendrich, director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, which is home to the IDP, wrote that “John Papadopoulos has been an amazing chair. His deep care for the students’ success was apparent in his twelve years of guidance and mentorship. In addition, he managed to find little pots of money in unexpected places to help our students in the tough economic climate of Los Angeles. No doubt, Greg Schachner will have paid attention, and I am looking forward to the way he will provide his own flavor of chairing the program.”