Photo of Timothy E. Elgren
  • Dean, College of Arts and Sciences


  • BA, Hamline University, 1984
  • PhD, Dartmouth College, 1989
  • Postdoctoral research, University of Minnesota


Timothy E. Elgren began his academic and administrative career at Hamilton College after completing his postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota. He joined Hamilton’s chemistry department in 1993. At Hamilton, he served in a number of administrative roles, including associate dean of faculty, affirmative action officer, chair of the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Program, and coordinator of the Network for Teaching and Learning. Elgren joined Oberlin College in July 2014 as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Elgren’s research focuses on the structure and function of metalloproteins and the incorporation of these enzymes into functional biomaterials. He has received grants from a variety of sources to support these projects, including grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, the American Chemical Society, and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. These projects have led to publications in journals including the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Biochemistry, Nano Letters, and Journal of Materials Chemistry. His undergraduate collaborators coauthored many of these papers.

While at Hamilton, he taught courses in chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental studies that incorporate investigative laboratories as well as issues of civic engagement. He was the inaugural recipient of the J. R. Hatch Excellence in Teaching Prize (1998) at Hamilton College.

He has also been a strong advocate for undergraduate research, having served as president (2004) and member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) in Washington, D.C. (2003-06). He served three terms as a CUR chemistry councilor (1997-2006). For CUR, he also coedited Developing and Sustaining a Research-Supportive Curriculum: A Compendium of Successful Practices (2007).