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Office of the Dean

August 2021

Dear Colleagues,

This fall, I am especially pleased to welcome many of you back to campus after so much time in which many of us have done much of our work from our own personal spaces rather than our shared, common spaces.

I am pleased as well to report exciting news that will define the future of our College.

This year, we will embark upon 40 faculty searches for the College of Liberal Arts, fueled in part by nearly $3.5M in recurring fund investment from the Central Administration and the Office of the Provost. These searches will include teaching commitments in Cornerstone that enable us to deliver our educational programs to students from across campus while also providing important support for education and scholarship across our academic units. Of these, 22 positions respond to enrollment growth across the University.

The hiring plan, approved by the Treasurer and the Provost, reflects our unique position at Purdue and particularly the opportunity to advance many of our disciplines as they intersect with technology, data science, and engineering in timely and important ways. The Heads have been informed of approved searches in each area and will soon begin assembling search committees. Thank you, in advance, for your participation in what will be a significant and deeply important undertaking for our College.

Even as we add faculty in response to growth across campus and our responsibility to educate all Purdue students, we will resume investment in research and new initiatives as well.

As noted in July’s budget message, with generous support from the Provost and additional funds from the College, we will resume the following faculty support programs this year:  Aspire ($425K), PROMISE ($200K), Engage ($100,000), and Create ($50,000). Program deadlines and guidelines are on the respective web pages. In addition, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships will provide funding for the Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences and Enhancing Research in the Humanities and Arts grant programs. With evolving campus funding priorities, after this year’s competition, these programs will evolve to embrace the newly-defined strategic research goals of the College.

As we return our attention to the College’s Strategic Plan, I am pleased to share details on two initiatives that will be our focus for the coming year. The College will invest $300K each in standing up a Research Academy and a Center for Arts and Humanities. I anticipate many of you will be engaged as this work unfolds.

I know that you will join me in welcoming two new members of our College leadership. Al Lopez will serve as interim department head for the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Jess Maynard will serve as interim director of Information Technology. I thank them both for their willingness to serve.

Please also help me welcome our new faculty to the College. These educators and scholars will play an important role in our ongoing success. You can learn a bit more about them here.

All of these individuals and initiatives will shape the months ahead across the College. But first, I want to recognize some memorable events from the past year.

As you are aware, last fall, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Teagle Foundation announced a program to replicate our Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program as a national model for general education. They have awarded grants to a host of institutions, among them Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Smith College. It is a great testimony to the exceptional work of all who contributed to the development and implementation of Cornerstone that it stands as a model for the nation’s premier public and private institutions of higher learning.

On a completely different front, the College produced three Olympians who competed in the recent Tokyo Games. Brandon Loschiavo (BA 2021, Communication) reached the final and placed 11 th in Men’s 10M Diving, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (BA 2016, Law and Society) reached the finals and placed 12 th in Men’s Shot Put, and Samson Colebrooke (BA 2021, Law and Society) competed in the Men’s 100M in Track and Field. Every year across the College, our student athletes demonstrate excellence in the classroom and beyond. We congratulate these competitors on their accomplishments.

I look forward to this semester in which we will begin to rekindle some of our familiar patterns of work and academic ritual. I thank you again for helping us, even in the most trying of times, advance the College as an innovative leader in liberal arts education and scholarship. The past year has brought many dark days, but today, the future of the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University is bright.



David Reingold

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