professor and the head of the department of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Education: Ph.D. (sociology), M.A. (sociology), Indiana University; B.S. (sociology), Creighton University
Courses teaching: Spring: SOC 196 (Social Problems: Inequality and Disparity)
Research interests: Sociology of work, organizational theory and social stratification
“Kevin is a leader on a number of dimensions,” said David Tewksbury, former LAS associate dean, who is the head of the department of communication. “He is a leading scholar in the sociology of labor and the workplace. His six books have influenced the way a generation of students and researchers have understood the plight of workers in modern economies. Kevin also is a leader in the conduct of research on social inequality; he is coming to Illinois after having served as the program officer for sociology at the National Science Foundation for the past two years.
“Finally, Kevin is an experienced unit leader who will make an immediate difference for the department of sociology. He worked for many years at the University of Iowa, where he served as the chair of the department of sociology and as the founder and director of the Iowa Social Science Research Center. We are very happy to have Kevin join the faculty of the department and college.”
Why Illinois? “I chose Illinois because of the world-class faculty, the interdisciplinary focus of the campus and the commitment to being the best,” Leicht said. “I’m excited by the opportunities the campus has to offer and the vibrant intellectual life I see animate the faculty, students and administrators I’ve met. As a new department head, I’m committed to making (the U. of I. sociology department) the best and most vibrant program in the country. I study social inequality, so I find the university’s commitment to diversity in all its guises refreshing as well. I expect to do great things here, and I know that the University of Illinois is committed to egging me on to be the best and helping sociology to be the best, too.”