Welcome back! I hope you had an enjoyable winter break and are rested and ready for an exciting spring semester.
I am very excited to have a Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion in place for the campus. Tyvi Small stepped into the interim position January 2. He will lead efforts to coordinate the student success programs and diversity initiatives already in place across the university. Angie Batey, the associate dean for diversity and inclusion for our college, has already met with Tyvi to discuss several diversity initiatives, including development of education materials and the UT Diversity Summit. Tyvi Small is well prepared for this job because of his experiences on the university’s strategic planning diversity and inclusion working group and the Council for Diversity and Interculturalism, as well as his work on recruitment and diversity within the Haslam College of Business.
Earlier this month, Interim President Randy Boyd announced the search for our new Chancellor. According to Boyd, the ideal candidate for this position will “incorporate a ‘students-first’ culture in everything they do.” I hope you take the opportunity to meet potential candidates as they visit our campus. Information about the search, including the job description, is available on the search website.
Another exciting piece of news for the spring semester is the opening of the new Student Union. More than nine years in the making, the Student Union is the largest project in UT’s history. If you have not already had the opportunity to walk through the 395,000-square-foot building, I encourage you to take a break and walk through this beautiful building. I hear the line at Steak ‘n Shake is little long, however, so go early or late, or make plans for one of the other food courts in the building.
In other new-building news, while the opening of the Mossman building has been difficult, the research functions of the building are finally being brought fully online. Many thanks to our faculty, staff, and students for your patience as we worked out the kinks.
Thank you for your work in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am extremely proud of all of you and look forward to a productive and exciting spring semester!
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences