Let me start by extending a warm and enthusiastic greeting as I begin my service to you as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
Over the past several weeks, I have met with the College’s associate deans, school and department heads, program directors, distinguished professors and endowed chair holders, senior staff, and an undergraduate student group. These meetings have given me a chance to learn more about the College. I am grateful to all who made time in their busy schedules to share their thoughts with me on the future of the College.
I look forward to meeting everyone in the College and have organized a series of coffee hours over the next several months so we can get a chance to meet. It was a pleasure to meet some of you at the reception yesterday. Upcoming coffees are scheduled for Tues., March 24 from 2:15-3:15p and Mon., April 13 from 2:30-3:30p in PMU 118. Please join me then.
Based on these early interactions, it is clear to me the strengths of the College are its people and intellectual climate. The faculty are dedicated to high-quality scholarship and creative activity, and our students are passionate about learning.
One early impression about the College is the desire among the faculty and students to engage beyond the walls of the academy in pursuit of innovative and meaningful solutions to society’s most complex challenges. This has been a defining aspect of my academic and professional life. I look forward to working with our faculty and students to find new ways to translate their scholarly and professional interests into opportunities to improve society and create transformative human advances.
I have had several conversations with members of the Dean’s Advisory Council and other alumni. I have been deeply touched by their outpouring of support for CLA as I have by the countless individuals who are working hard to elevate the institution that has been so central to their personal, academic, and professional lives. I am excited to join an institution that has played such a significant part in the lives of so many at Purdue University.
I am grateful to the members of the search committee who remained diligent over an extended period of time to find a new dean. Provost Dutta and President Daniels spent considerable time with me during the interview process. I am thankful to them for their support and confidence. And, Dean Weiser has been unbelievably gracious and generous with his time over the past two months helping me understand the inner workings of the College and the University. His integrity, thoughtfulness and leadership of the College has been superb. The College was fortunate to have such an accomplished academic administrator.
As I embark on this new challenge, I am reminded of the Athenian Oath which was recited by the citizens of Athens, Greece over 2,000 years ago. It obligated every citizen to fight for ideal and sacred things, alone and with many, to revere the institution’s traditions, to instill a reverence and respect for those who may hold different views, to strive to instill a sense of civic duty, and to leave the institution, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us. These sentiments embody my commitment to the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the College of Liberal Arts and Purdue University.
David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts