Chancellor Daniel Little, Ph.D.

Daniel Little is the fifth and longest-serving chancellor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, having led the campus since July 2000. He also serves as professor of philosophy at UM-Dearborn and as professor of sociology at UM-Ann Arbor.

Under his leadership, the university stands at record enrollment with just over 9,100 students. The campus’s undergraduate minority enrollment has increased to 26 percent, and the campus has built a welcoming and inclusive campus environment. 

The campus’s first residential student option since the 1980s has opened and the campus has been transformed with many new buildings and major renovations to facilities. 

Under Little’s guidance, UM-Dearborn has developed into a strong metropolitan university with a particular focus on metropolitan Detroit. UM-Dearborn has cultivated meaningful relationships between the university and its surrounding community in terms of scholarship, research and service, and faculty, students, and staff are involved in several hundred different community-based organizations.

Previous positions of academic leadership include service as vice president for academic affairs at Bucknell University (1996-2000) and as associate dean of the faculty at Colgate University (1993-96). He served as professor of philosophy at Colgate and Bucknell, with teaching experience as well at Wellesley College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Little received his A.B. in philosophy and B.S. in mathematics from the University of Illinois in 1971 and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1977. His research interests fall within the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. He has presented research papers and seminars at numerous universities in Europe, China, and India.

His most recent books include New Directions in the Philosophy of Social Science (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), The Future of Diversity (Palgrave, 2010, edited with Satya Mohanty), and New Contributions to the Philosophy of History (Springer, 2010).  Other books include The Paradox of Wealth and Poverty (Westview Press, 2003), Microfoundations, Method, and Causation (Transactions Publishers, 1998), On the Reliability of Economic Models (edited) (Kluwer, 1995), Varieties of Social Explanation (Westview Press, 1991; Persian translation 1998), Understanding Peasant China (Yale University Press, 1989; Chinese translation, 2007) and The Scientific Marx (University of Minnesota Press, 1986).

During 1989-91 he held a Social Science Research Council/MacArthur Foundation fellowship in international peace and security, which he spent as Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.

Chancellor Little is actively involved in metropolitan affairs in the Detroit region, with particular involvement in organizations supporting racial and religious equality and inter-group understanding.  He serves on the boards of New Detroit, Detroit Public Television, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Beaumont Hospital-Dearborn Community Advisory Board, City Year Detroit Board, Detroit Zoological Society, Michigan Campus Compact, Council of Asian and Pacific Americans, Citizens Research Council of Michigan and Michigan Association of United Ways.  He is currently co-chair of the Detroit Drives Degrees Coalition in partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

UM-Dearborn has been recognized for campus efforts, led by Little, for its work in diversity, inclusion and equity from New Detroit, The Urban League of Detroit & Southeast Michigan and the Western Wayne County NAACP Branch. Little has received the Trailblazer Award from the Western Wayne County NAACP Branch and Michigan Campus Compact’s inaugural John DiBiaggio Beacon Award for Presidential Leadership for his commitment to innovation, inclusivity, commitment to engaged scholarship and community partnerships.

Office of the Chancellor

1070 -
Administration Building (AB)
Back to top of page