Dialogue: The E-Newsletter of the College of Arts & Sciences

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College of Arts & Sciences

Dean Lee

Happy spring!

I hope all of you are enjoying the greening of campus as much as I am. The dogwood blossoms are especially beautiful. No wonder Knoxville hosts a Dogwood Festival.

We're nearing the end of a very busy semester and looking forward, as always, to graduating another class of students. As they go forth we know that armed with the knowledge and skills of an arts and sciences degree, they have the best preparation possible for whatever lies ahead whether it be entering the workforce, pursuing an advanced degree, or living a meaningful and fulfilling life as a citizen of our global community.

It's been a busy semester on all fronts. Following the completion of budget hearings with each department, we prepared the college's academic planning document and presented it to the provost on March 11. It will be a while before the campus budget picture is defined sufficiently for the provost to provide a definitive response to the needs and requests we presented. We will share that information when it is available.

It is always a laborious process to engage in the academic planning process each spring when that task overlays so many other important activities, including interviewing candidates and reviewing promotion and tenure documents. I am grateful for the contributions of those who helped with the academic planning process this year beginning with the leadership and staff of our departments and schools and members of the college cabinet. I am especially grateful to those of you who served on the Academic Planning Committee, namely Derek Alderman, Chad Black, Sally Brogden, Daniela Corbetta, Adrian Del Caro, Jeff Pappas, Ken Stephenson, and Hanno Weitering.

Leadership Appointments/ Reappointments for New Academic Year

Many in the college community are aware that Dottie Habel, professor and director of the School of Art, and Jeff Becker, professor and head of the Department of Microbiology, are retiring at the end of the summer.

An internal search was conducted to fill the position of Director of the School of Art and David Wilson has been appointed director. An external search was conducted for the vacancy in microbiology and I am pleased to announce that Heidi Goodrich-Blair will be the new head of the Department of Microbiology and the new David and Sandra White Professor.

With the support and recommendation of faculty in the Department of Theatre, Cal MacLean has agreed to remain as department head for another five-year term. Rosalind Hackett will also continue as head for the Department of Religious Studies. Both the chemistry department and the classics department are still finalizing the process for head appointments, so stay tuned.

All the appointments will be announced to the university community in July when a general announcement is placed in Tennessee Today.

College Annual Report for 2015

Since my arrival in 2012, I have produced an annual report on behalf of the college. This week the 2015 annual report was delivered to the printer and each of you should receive a copy in your campus mailbox within the next two weeks. The report summarizes our progress on the strategic plan, acknowledges our shortfall in achievements, and celebrates our successes which are many. I hope you take time to read it and to share your thoughts and comments with me. This report was interesting to prepare as it comes at the end of my first term as dean and is also nearing the end of the time period covered by the college's five-year strategic plan approved in March 2012. While we have not achieved all of the goals we set forth in the beginning, we have made significant progress across the college.

I appreciate your vote of confidence and support which led to my reappointment for a second five-year term. I look forward to working with you to update the strategic plans for the college and its academic units as we continue our journey to become a better college.

Meet the Chancellor and Provost

Faculty are invited to meet with the chancellor and provost on Thursday, April 28, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held in Room 205 of the Panhellenic Building, 1531 Cumberland Avenue (corner of Sixteenth Street and Cumberland Avenue).  I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to converse with our campus leadership regarding matters important to you.

Summer School

I want to encourage you to THINK SUMMER. The college is committed to supporting the university's priority of increasing summer school enrollment. The provost's office launched an effort to promote summer school enrollment in both on-campus and online courses and the college is strongly supporting it. Indeed, we have been growing summer programming successfully for the last two years. Registration for summer school began February 24 and will continue through the end of spring semester.

Increasing summer school enrollment yields benefits for our students who can get ahead or catch up on courses they need to graduate in four years. Summer school also yields benefits to the college because a portion of any profits are returned to the department and are a source of increased operating funds. I encourage each of you to support the THINK SUMMER campaign.

Celebration of Staff and Awards Event

Plans are underway for the third annual Celebration of Staff and Awards Event—an occasion to recognize and celebrate staff for their important contributions to the college and its missions. Attendance has increased each year and we encourage staff to save the date on their calendar and plan to participate. Invitations will be sent to all staff by email when the details are finalized. I ask department heads and directors to support this event by encouraging participation. The celebration this year will be held on Tuesday, May 24, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on the south lawn of Ayres Hall.

Spring Commencement and Hooding Ceremonies

As the end of the semester approaches, please take note that the scheduling for hooding and graduation is quite different this year. Graduate hooding for all colleges will occur on Thursday evening, May 12, at 7:00 p.m. in Thompson-Boling Arena. Commencement for our college will occur on Saturday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in Thompson-Boling Arena.

Our Commencement speakers are Jeffery Becker, professor of microbiology, and Dottie Habel, professor of art.  Given the personalities and creativity of these two individuals, the students and graduation guests are in for a delightful and memorable experience. I hope to see many of you there.

I invite you to share with me your thoughts, suggestions, questions, and concerns in an e-mail to artscidean@utk.edu. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm best regards,

Theresa M. Lee
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

Save the Date!

Meet the Chancellor and Provost
Thursday, April 28, 2016
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Room 205, Panhellenic Building
1531 Cumberland Avenue

Graduate Hooding Ceremony
Thursday, May 12, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Thompson-Boling Arena

Spring 2016 Commencement
Saturday, May 14, 2016
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Thompson-Boling Arena

Graduation Speakers

    Jeffery Becker
    Professor and Department Head, Microbiology
    Chancellor's Professor; David and Sandra White Professor
    Dorothy Habel
    Professor and Director, School of Art
    Distinguished Professor of the Humanities 

Annual Staff Appreciation and Awards Event
May 24, 2016
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Ayres Hall South Lawn


Contact Us

College of Arts & Sciences
312 Ayres Hall
1403 Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-1330
P: 865-974-5332
F: 865-974-4352

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