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Office of the Dean

May 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As we complete another academic year and turn our thoughts to summer, I want to take a moment to reflect upon a number of significant accomplishments within the College of Liberal Arts and to thank you for the thoughtful hard work that has brought us to this point.

At this point last May, the CLA Core Renewal Committee had advanced a proposal that created our Degree+ program and was moving forward with its work to review our core curriculum. Also last May, the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee was in the early stages of responding to that charge. A short twelve months later, each of those committees has completed proposals approved by the CLA Faculty Senate that will shape much of our work in the coming year.

Our newly-defined CLA Core 21 builds off of the University Core Curriculum (UCC) through requirements for disciplinary breadth, linguistic competency, and social diversity. We will prepare to implement CLA Core 21 during the 2019-2020 academic year for Fall 2020. Implementation will bring a next series of tasks for many people. I thank you in advance for that work. Thanks as well to the Core Renewal Committee, led by co-chairs Chris Yeomans, head of philosophy, and Joel Ebarb, senior associate dean of undergraduate education and international programs. Please join me in thanking the other members of the CLA Core Renewal Committee: Elena Coda (Languages and Cultures), Warren Dukes (Sociology), Andrew Flachs (Anthropology), Nancy Gabin (History), Al Lopez (English/Interdisciplinary Studies), Derek Pacheco (English), Richard Rand (Design, Art, and Performance), Felicia Roberts (Communication) and Keith Shimko (Political Science).

A different, but equally impressive, undertaking is the work of the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee, which developed and vetted the first fully articulated strategic plan for the College since 1992. This document outlines a set of aspirations to move the College forward over the next five to seven years. I have already begun discussions with the School and Department Heads to determine how we will prioritize these in the short term as we consider available resources. Those conversations will continue in the fall. Thank you to co-chairs Rosie Clawson, professor of political science, and Kirke Willing, director of financial affairs. Again, please join me in thanking the other members of the Strategic Vision and Planning Committee: Rab Mukerjea, Consultant, Katie Brownell (History), Elena Coda (Languages & Cultures), Bart Collins (Communication), Matt Conaway (Bands), Ray Fouche (Interdisciplinary Studies), Al Lopez (English/Interdisciplinary Studies), Erik Otarola-Castillo (Anthropology), Kati Pratt (Marketing), Leigh Raymond (Political Science), Melissa Remis (Anthropology), Linda Renzulli (Sociology), Andrae Sailes (Advising), Emily Warter (Political Science), David Williams, (Development), Chris Yeomans (Philosophy), and Li Zhang (Design, Art and Performance).

A year ago, we were preparing for the expansion of our Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program. I am pleased that we have seen important advances for the program with both internal and external recognition, external funding support, and nearly 1,000 students enrolled in the SCLA 101 and 102 courses each semester. More than 40 colleagues are Cornerstone Faculty Fellows, representing all of our academic units. In addition, many of the faculty joining us in the fall will have teaching assignments tied to first-year Cornerstone classes. Since its evolution from a task force of department heads in 2015, Cornerstone has grown to become a signature program of our College. Over the coming years, as students pursue the Cornerstone certificate, we will see new enrollments into courses from every School and Department.

We have made substantial progress on several important fronts, all work that will shape our efforts over the next several years. I am very proud of these efforts and our shared commitment to this College.

Thank you for your hard work. Best wishes for a productive and pleasant summer.


David Reingold

David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts