October 8, 2013
Dear CHABSS Community,
Step onto campus and one can easily tell that fall is upon us; from the chill in the air or the students filling the classrooms and walkways. It is clear that our university has grown this fall, our enrollment has topped 11,300 students and the College generated 59% of campus enrollment. As the university’s most significant contributor to our General Education curriculum, all of CHABSS faculty and staff deserve significant credit for meeting the needs of the record freshman class this semester. The administration believes that this growth demonstrates the substantial demand that exists for our campus. This growth has certainly not gone unnoticed, as we will be searching for 10 tenure-track faculty that I know our faculty are excited about.
As is typical with the beginning of the academic year, I have had many fruitful discussions with groups from across the College. I have met with each of our faculty governance committees, particularly focusing on ways to better coordinate the overlapping tasks of these groups, better align our multiple planning tools, and assemble our 3-year rolling plan. I am pleased to be working with Bud Morris, Chair of the Faculty, with whom I have had the opportunity to have very productive conversations. I have also had conversations with our Staff Development Committee and our Lecturer Advisory Committee about continuing to build our culture of inclusiveness. In order to continue to maintain our open dialogue, I am hosting lunches for faculty and staff throughout the year. Please sign up!
The College is also moving forward with its strategic investment in interdisciplinary programs. Building upon the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary and Emerging Programs (IEP) Taskforce, the College has reorganized the IEP Office with its own Administrative Coordinator, Ms. Jo Ellen Anderson. Additionally, Interim Associate Dean Scott Greenwood is leading the new Interdisciplinary Consortium which is assembling a steering committee to guide future development of interdisciplinary programs. Coupled with two shared hires (Political Science/Global Studies; Women’s Studies/Liberal Studies), and a revamping of the Social Sciences major curriculum led by Linda Shaw, the College is significantly building upon its strong record of interdisciplinary collaboration.
We also continue to build a rich intellectual environment in the College. Over the next several weeks, the College will be sponsoring several noteworthy events and I just wanted to highlight a few. We will be hosting the first Victor Rocha Lecture in the history of CHABSS on October 17th featuring Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffmann, Dwight E. Stanford Chair in U.S. Foreign Relations at San Diego State University. I am also very proud to have partnered with the Faculty Center and with the Office of the AVP for Diversity, Inclusion, and Educational Equity to sponsor the Poet Laureate of California, Juan Felipe Herrera, who will be giving a public talk/reading on October 29th. This event is part of our new strategic initiative, the “Engaging Diverse Dialogues Initiative” which builds upon on our existing strength to be a campus leader in scholarly informed conversations around diversity. Please see the full calendar of events for more information.
As our university grows, it is important that we build our curriculum to meet our students' needs and our faculty are actively involved in developing new curriculum. BAs in Environmental Studies and Child & Adolescent Development have been approved by the Chancellor and we hope to begin these next Fall. BAs in Music and Digital & Media Arts are under review. I am also excited about two new programs being launched through Extended Learning: A BA in Criminology & Justice Studies (SOC) at Temecula, and a certificate in Cultural Competency in Healthcare (ANTH). Though our budget situation is improving, it is very important that we think very carefully about how we grow and where we should prioritize our still limited resources. I encourage each of you to have these conversations in your departments, keeping in mind our fundamental goal to serve our students.
We are continuing to work with the community to advance our College’s efforts. Our Dean’s Council, led by newly elected Chair Robert Schmidt (a LTWR alum), will be focusing on developing support for the Career Readiness Initiative, the arts, international experiences for our students, and building the endowment for the Hein Family Scholarship, CSUSM’s first graduate scholarship. Last year there were four Hein fellows and we anticipate several new fellows to be announced next month. I am also excited to announce that the College has been given a generous gift from the Leichtag Foundation to build upon the Global Studies Program’s existing strength in Middle East & Israeli Studies. I encourage you to contact our development liaison, Greg Anglea (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any ideas that may attract external investment in CHABSS.
As part of our community outreach, we continue to make important strides in better preparing our students for the world of work through our Career Readiness Initiative (CRI). Faculty Director Katherine Brown has been working closely with faculty and students and has assembled a terrific array of panels including a faculty panel (co-hosted by the Faculty Center) on career readiness practices currently in use at CHABSS, and a series of employer panels for students. Additionally, we have an exciting opportunity to be a participating campus in Cal State DC, and have an information session on Thursday, October 10th. CRI also places an emphasis on engaging the community in promoting our excellent liberal arts students, so we are launching our CRI Mentoring Program which will match CHABSS students with professionals from an array of backgrounds. We have also partnered with Noble Americas Energy for our first MOU that provides paid internships for our students. This semester, two ECON students are interning with an exciting team in the energy business. Please see our webpage for a full listing of CRI events.
Thanks to your collective contributions, the College is well positioned for continued growth and leadership at CSUSM and in the community. I wish you the best for the remainder of the Fall semester.
Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences