Class: 1967Inducted: 2018
Robert Holub distinguished himself as a teacher, scholar, and administrator in several of the premier institutions in public higher education in the United States.
After graduating second in his class from Asbury Park High School in 1967, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in the natural sciences. After a year working in a pharmaceutical firm, he matriculated in the graduate program in Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, eventually earning two Masters degrees – one in Comparative Literature and one in German – and a doctorate (magna cum laude) in German.
In 1979 Robert was appointed Assistant Professor of German at the University of California at Berkeley, where he rapidly moved through the academic ranks and was promoted to Full Professor in 1989. He chaired the German Department at Berkeley from 1991-1996 and subsequently served as Dean of the Undergraduate Division in the College of Letters and Science from 2003-2006.
From 2006-2008 he occupied the position of Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In 2008 he moved to Western Massachusetts to serve as Chancellor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Robert returned to the faculty in 2012 with an appointment as Ohio Eminent Scholar in German at Ohio State University, a position he continues to hold. In 2014 he began a four-year term as Chair of Ohio State’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.
In his academic career Robert has specialized in the literary, cultural, and intellectual history of Germany from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century. He is the author of eight books dealing with a variety of topics: from volumes on the German-Jewish author Heinrich Heine and on literary and aesthetic theory to monographs on the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and Jürgen Habermas. He has published over a hundred scholarly essays in various venues, and selected writings have been translated into a half-dozen foreign languages.
One of his favorite quotes stems from Theodore Roosevelt: "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground."