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Welcome to Fall 2023

Headshot of R.J. Hinde on August 27, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of TennesseeNext week, we start a new academic year and the excitement about what’s happening in our college is tangible.

If you are new to campus, welcome to Rocky Top and the College of Arts and Sciences! In the next few weeks, special editions of Dialogue, our college newsletter, will introduce new faculty and staff. I hope those of you who know your way around will take the opportunity to welcome our new colleagues and help them settle in.

To our faculty and graduate students returning to campus – I hope you had a restful and productive summer. And to our staff, faculty, and graduate students who work year-round – thank you for your efforts to keep the college running smoothly through the summer.

I am excited to be back in my academic home, and I am very proud of our Volunteer community. We are breaking records left and right! A few notable achievements include:

  • We welcome another record-breaking number of undergraduate and graduate students to campus next week.
  • The UT Humanities Center received a transformative investment from the Provost, the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED), and our college to help it reach national and international prominence.
  • For the second year in a row, external research awards secured by our faculty totaled more than $40 million.
  • Fourteen faculty in our college published articles in The Conversation, which contributed to UT’s rise to fourth place among SEC institutions in the number of articles published in the public research and scholarship venue.
  • More than 6,500 individual donors made a gift to the college last fiscal year. Their generosity provided nearly $33 million in support for our students and faculty to continue their scholarship, research, outreach, and engagement with our community.

It’s a really great time to be a member of the College of Arts and Sciences community!

In other news, we began our divisional structure pilot July 1. We welcomed three divisional deans to the college leadership as part of the pilot, who will share their thoughts about the future in an upcoming edition of Dialogue. Two new associate deans also joined our leadership team July 1. Mike Blum is the new associate dean for research and creative activity and Liem Tran is our new associate dean for academic programs. The college office team will work together to help our units and academic programs thrive during the divisional structure pilot period.

Finally, I want to thank faculty, staff, graduate students, department heads and associate heads, and associate and divisional deans for your collective dedication to our mission: helping students embrace lifelong learning and grow into leaders in their professional and geographic communities, and pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through our research and scholarly and creative activity. Without you, none of this would happen.

If you have an idea for how the college can become an even better place to work, study, and create, please reach out to me. I hope you have a great fall semester!

RJ Hinde
Interim Executive Dean
Professor of Chemistry