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Ending the Year with an Eye Towards Spring

Headshot of R.J. Hinde on August 27, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of TennesseeAs we close out the fall 2023 semester, I wanted to thank our staff, graduate students, and faculty members for all you do to make the college an amazing place to learn, teach, and work.  I also want to congratulate the hundreds of students who will receive degrees from the college at tomorrow’s undergraduate commencement ceremony and graduate hooding.

Between now and the beginning of spring 2024, the college administration team will be busy working with department heads to prepare the college’s proposed budget for 2024-25.  I continue to be optimistic that the university’s new budget model will provide the college with badly needed investments in faculty and staff.  With these investments, we’ll be better positioned to accomplish our missions of providing students with engaging, high-quality educational opportunities and generating world-class research, scholarship, and creative work that advances the frontiers of knowledge and makes life and lives better. Thank you for your dedication to our college and your help accomplishing these two missions.

Spring 2024 Focus:  College Bylaws

As I mentioned in my October message, we will need to consider updates to the college bylaws now that the School of Music is no longer in the college. Our promotion and tenure committee has 10 members, all of whom must be full professors, and two of whom are chosen from the college’s arts units. With music’s departure from the college, only full professors from the School of Art and the Department of Theatre are eligible for election to the two arts-division seats on the promotion and tenure committee.

Should we consider a reconfiguration of the promotion and tenure committee that aligns more closely with the three-division structure of the college? Please discuss this possibility with your colleagues, and in particular with your unit’s representative to the Dean’s Advisory Council, which is charged with recommending changes to the college bylaws.

In 2021-22, another change to the bylaws was considered, but never acted on. Should we make the Dean’s Lecturer Advisory Council (DLAC) an elected body rather than an appointed body?  I have shared with the Dean’s Advisory Council a proposed bylaws amendment that would enact this change and enfranchise the college’s lecturers to choose their own representatives to DLAC.  Please contact your unit’s representative to the Dean’s Advisory Council to share your opinion on this matter.

We will begin the process of amending the bylaws at the start of the spring semester, but for now, I hope that you can spend the next few weeks enjoying time with family and friends, celebrating with colleagues, and resting up and recharging for the spring semester.

Sincerely,

RJ Hinde
Interim Executive Dean
College of Arts and Sciences