I hope that UT’s winter holiday gave you the opportunity to spend time with family and friends and celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. I also hope that Winter Storm Heather’s visit to Knoxville this week didn’t disrupt your lives too much.
There’s a lot going on in the college this spring semester. Many units are in the midst of searching for and hiring new tenure-line faculty; we have 29 searches underway, including searches for five new tenure-line faculty positions in the arts and humanities division that the college created as part of last year’s budget conversation with the Office of the Provost. We’re also investing in critically-needed staff positions across the college, both in the college office proper and in academic units. We anticipate that by spring’s end, we will have added nearly 30 new staff positions this academic year. Be sure to watch your email for a series of messages introducing you to these new colleagues!
During the spring, we’ll work on amending the college bylaws to align the membership of the promotion and tenure committee with the college’s three-division structure. Academic units may also want to discuss the criteria for rank that are specified in unit-level bylaws. Do your bylaws include provisions for evaluating scholarly achievements and research outputs that extend beyond the traditional forms of monographs, edited volumes, book chapters, journal articles, and artistic presentations and exhibitions? If not, should they? Do your bylaws address community-engaged scholarship and the evaluation of research accomplishments by faculty members participating in multidisciplinary collaborations or large teams?
We are just past the six-month mark for the college’s divisional structure pilot. The college office wants to find out how the pilot has changed the way you do your work, and learn more about ways we can continue to improve college operations within the divisional structure. The college office has asked Professors Stephanie Bohon (sociology) and Dawn Szymanski (psychology) to develop a brief survey that we will distribute early in the semester to capture your thoughts. Thank you, Drs. Bohon and Szymanski!
Finally, if you haven’t already heard, the college has created its own LinkedIn page. We’ll use this platform to publish career-oriented content for students and to connect with our alumni on a professional level. LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing original news articles and research and creative activity spotlights written by the college communications team. LinkedIn provides us with space for this type of content to flourish. Follow us today!
Welcome back! I’m excited to see what we will accomplish as a college this semester!
Interim Executive Dean
College of Arts and Sciences