COLA Connections Newsletter: October 2013

From the Desk of the Dean

We are well into our first semester, and there’s plenty of activity across the college. The first thing you’ll notice are physical changes—with renovations complete in Liberal Arts Hall, new furniture in classrooms, and a newly inaugurated Stan McKenzie Faculty Commons. The Stan McKenzie Commons is now also home to the Stan McKenzie Salon Series which will feature occasional “talks” or informal and interactive presentations by our faculty, showcasing their innovative scholarship and teaching. I would like to express my thanks here to Dr. Jessica Lieberman for being our first faculty showcased in this series and to Dr. Michael Laver as the series coordinator. Special thanks also goes to Dr. Joe Fornieri for providing music for the ribbon cutting celebration held in early October. This was a wonderful way to honor our former Provost and faculty member in the department of English, Stan McKenzie, whose kind generosity led to the establishment of the salon named after him, and the renovation of the commons.

In addition, this fall we hosted our colleagues from Malmö University with whom we are developing a partnership aimed at providing students and faculty opportunities for cross-institutional teaching and research. More about this partnership is contained in this edition—the first for this academic year—of the newsletter.

Lastly, our endowed chairs continue to bring in leading scholars from across the humanities and social sciences to give campus-wide lectures that are also open to the public. This fall we have a slate of over a dozen visiting scholars speaking on topics that range from ethical decision-making, to environmental economics, to international affairs, to visual communication, to digital humanities. Keep an eye open for more information about these talks, or see the calendar of events published.

Thanks to our faculty, advisors, and staff we are adapting to the new semester calendar with aplomb. The challenges are there, but we’ve met them and helped our students move forward and stay focused on rigorous, creative, and compelling academic work.

We look forward to the rest of the fall, and a vibrant spring semester.