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About CAL

Board of Trustees

Dr. Humphrey Tonkin photoDr. Humphrey Tonkin

Member, CAL Board of Trustees 2008 2014
Vice Chair 2010 - 2012

Dr. Humphrey Tonkin is University Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus at the University of Hartford. He joined the University in January 1989 and served as President for almost ten years, returning to teaching and research in June 1998. He was President of the State University of New York at Potsdam from 1983 to 1988, and, before that, Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also occupied various administrative posts, among them Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Studies.

He has served as visiting professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and of interlinguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland, and has conducted research as a Guggenheim Fellow at Oxford University and a visiting fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University.

Dr. Tonkin has lectured widely on English literature, languages, and international studies. His publications include two books on the poetry of Edmund Spenser (1972 and 1989), scholarly articles on 16th-century literature, edited volumes on language and related topics, and articles and monographs on international language problems, language and society, and language teaching. He edited and translated Tivadar Soros’s Crusoes in Siberia (New York: Mondial, 2010) and Masquerade: Dancing Around Death in Nazi-occupied Hungary (New York: Arcade Publishing, 2001 & 2011). His book Service-Learning Across Cultures: Promise and Achievement (New York: IPSL Press, 2004) reports on a major research project that he directed on international service-learning. A volume edited with Maria Esposito Frank, The Translator as Mediator of Cultures, appeared in 2010 (Amsterdam: Benjamins). Dr. Tonkin is a Modern Language Association Distinguished Bibliographer, editor-in-chief of the journal Language Problems and Language Planning, series editor of Studies in World Language Problems, and executive director of the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems.

An advocate of international cooperation and international studies, Dr. Tonkin is former chair of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (which administers the senior Fulbright Program), the International Education Commission of the American Council on Education, and the Canadian Fulbright Commission ( At various times he has also chaired the boards of the International Partnership for Service-Learning, the American Forum for Global Education, and the Universal Esperanto Association.  He was the 2006 recipient of the Cassandra Pyle Award for Leadership and Collaboration in International Education and Exchange given by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. He holds an undergraduate degree in English from Cambridge University (St. John's College), and master's and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He has dual British and U.S. citizenship.

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