Dear Colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences,
Happy New Year! I am pleased to extend greetings and good wishes
to all of you from my office in Ayres Hall where my books are finally
shelved, and I am comfortably settled and working on the business
of the college.
My family and I accomplished our move from Michigan to Tennessee
in late December, and I began my first day as dean of the college on
January 3. I am delighted to have permanently arrived to begin a
new year with you as you return from the holiday break to begin a
During the past two weeks I have enjoyed getting better acquainted with the city and the
campus. I have taken particular pleasure in Tennessee's beautiful and relatively mild winter
As the term gets underway, I look forward to becoming more familiar with the college and the
university and to meeting many more Arts and Sciences faculty, staff, and students. I have
already met with the dean's staff and the department heads and directors. I am looking forward
to a visit with each department and school to meet the faculty, staff, and students who
collectively comprise our large college and make it the heart of the university.
I feel privileged and honored to lead the college during this important time of great change and
opportunity as the University of Tennessee, Knoxville pursues the goal of becoming a top 25
research public university. Given the centrality of the College of Arts and Sciences in UT
Knoxville, the university's goal cannot be achieved without the stellar contributions of the
college's talented faculty, staff, and students.
I am pleased to find the College of Arts and Sciences has already embarked on a period of
assessment leading to the development of strategic plans, not only for the college, but also for
each of the departments and schools. These plans, as they are fleshed out and implemented,
will result in important improvements in all aspects of our mission. I look forward to our work
together to make progress on these strategic goals and to build a supportive environment that
advances the college as well as UT.
Our college goals, developed in consultation with faculty, staff, and student representation, are
in alignment with the Top 25 goals and VOLVision and focus on those aspects of our endeavors that matter most: our students, faculty, and staff and the resources we need to support their
success. Generally stated, our college goals are:
- Goal I: Deliver a challenging, multidisciplinary, liberal arts education to undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds, including opportunities for student participation in
faculty-led research, creative activities, community outreach, and study abroad.
- Goal II: Recruit and prepare high-quality, diverse graduate students to excel in their
chosen disciplines and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their fields.
- Goal III: Promote, support, and reward excellence in faculty scholarship and creative
activity that increases knowledge.
- Goal IV: Build, support, and retain a diverse team of world-class faculty and staff.
- Goal V: Improve the resource base to accomplish goals I through IV above.
I look forward to working together as these goals guide our journey to the Top 25. There is
much cause for optimism about our college's future, and hence, our university's future. Despite
economic challenges, the College of Arts and Sciences has clearly continued to thrive, due in
large measure to the extraordinarily resourceful and creative efforts and accomplishments of our
faculty, students, and staff. I am committed to our strategic goals which have you at their core.
As your dean, I will begin each day dedicated to creating and maintaining a supportive
environment where your excellence can be realized.
As I share my thoughts with you, I invite you to share yours with me. Please feel free to write to
email@example.com to respond to this message, to offer your thoughts about the college, and
to suggest topics you would like me or others in the Dean's Office to address.
With best regards,
Theresa M. Lee, PhD
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences