It is difficult for me to believe that this fall will mark the start of the 5th year that I have had the honor of working on our beautiful campus as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts. As I look through this newsletter, I feel a sense of pride and amazement of our accomplishments. In fact, each year I think, “It can’t get any better than this,” and each year, to my delight, I am proven wrong.
As I reflect on the last year, one word comes to mind: excellence. Realizing academic excellence is not easy; it is admired because it is difficult to attain. For example, this year our university had its “Very High Research Activity” (R-1) Carnegie Classification renewed, placing us, once again, as one of the premier research universities nationwide. This is important for a number of reasons. Specifically, it impacts how government officials, independent analysts, and academic groups perceive our institution. It gives us recognition as a significant player on the national research stage. It helps recruit & retain faculty as well as increase the quality of the student body. Finally, in a competitive market, the R-1 label can significantly help our already strong reputation. However, the pursuit of academic excellence is more than achieving a prominent national ranking. It is striving to better understand ourselves and the world around us. It is maximally developing one’s intellectual capacities to achieve professional and personal success, and ultimately, to serve humanity.
We are strong because of the many talented and hardworking individuals who were part of the 2018-19 academic year in the College of Liberal Arts. We are also strong because of the generations of alumni who have come through the College. Our alumni are making meaningful contributions to society and all sectors of the economy.
I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter, and gain a renewed sense of pride in what is happening on campus to prepare the next wave of graduates.