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Wrapping Up the Semester

As we close out the year and prepare for our winter break, I would like to thank everyone in our college for your work and dedication to our community. From debates about outsourcing to dealing with the stress of uncertainty over faculty hires, support for our graduate students, and support for marginalized populations, it has been an unsettling semester/year. The good news is that many things are better than they were a year ago.

Ayres Hall in the snowDespite some disappointments (e.g., men’s sport), we have accomplished several important things in the past year. First, we will start the new year with updated college bylaws and a new strategic plan that provides a roadmap to success over the next five years. The long-awaited opening of Strong Hall is behind us and both students and faculty are truly grateful for the wonderful, state-of-the-art facility. Next year, we will move into the new Mossman Building, allowing another set of students and faculty the joy of a modern facility. Several of our programs continue to be ranked in the top 25 and EVERY program is ranked in the top 50. This is an accomplishment when most of our units can count their competitors in over a thousand units. Students’ successes across all disciplines consistently provide us with bragging rights on campus and nationally as they win prestigious awards. Finally, we publicly launched the Join the Journey campaign and look forward to the growing impact the generosity of our alumni, donors, and friends will have on our college and the university as a whole. The first noticeable change for our students will be an increase in services from the Writing Center, which will expand to provide more services because of Judi and Jim Herbert’s wonderful gift.

I hope you enjoy your time off. From all of us here in Ayres Hall, we wish you the happiest of winter solstice holidays – Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanza.

Theresa Lee
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences