Greetings! I hope you all had a good summer and were able to enjoy some well-deserved downtime. From record first year enrollment in our arts and humanities programs to the opening of another state-of-the-art science building, we have several exciting things on the horizon for this academic year.
First, I want to welcome the many new faculty and staff to our college and the UT campus. I look forward to working with you! I would also like to congratulate the newly tenured and promoted faculty, new department heads, and new IDP chairs on your positions. I am grateful for the added responsibilities you will take up this year.
Please save the date for our Mossman grand opening the afternoon of Friday, September 21. All faculty and staff in the college are welcome to join us for a short program and light refreshments.
Congratulations to all faculty and staff in the arts and humanities for your growth in majors this fall. According to a UT admissions report for May 22, 2018, on students who have confirmed they plan to start classes at UT in the fall, eight of the top nine majors in our college are from the arts and humanities. Collectively, this group grew from 159 majors in 2017 to 257 majors in 2018 – a 61.6 percent growth. Of those, the Departments of Philosophy and Classics had the largest percentage increase.
In other good news, the college had a record-breaking fundraising year of more than $21 million from 5,678 donors. These donors include our own faculty and staff – and I thank you for your support of the college and university!
UT also had a record-breaking fundraising year across the university for fiscal year 2018 with more than 46,000 donors providing $235 million in gifts and pledges. Additionally, we have surpassed the $1 billion mark in the Join the Journey campaign.
We continue to implement Advising 2020, which will result in professional advisors assigned to each department in the college. Moving forward, advising staff will help our students explore their goals and interests and provide them with the tools they need to develop and implement a plan for graduation. In this new model, faculty will become mentors, help students explore experiential opportunities related to the discipline, and provide advice about career opportunities, among other mentoring roles.
At the college level, we are rolling out two student ambassador programs – one for recruitment and one for social media engagement. Advising staff are working with 11 students who applied to be part of the first College of Arts and Sciences Student Ambassador program. These students will represent the college at recruitment events and other outreach opportunities. Our communications team will train and provide guidance for students recruited by faculty and staff for the Social Media Ambassador program in order to increase engagement opportunities on a variety of social media platforms.
One of my goals this academic year is to visit each department. In addition to sharing some administrative updates, I want to hear from you. What challenges do you face and how can we work together to solve them? What concerns you?
Thank you for all you do for the college. As always, if you have any questions or comments to share with me, or if you have some good news you want to pass along, please send me an email.
Theresa M. Lee
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences