Message from Dean Thomas K. Venner
Greetings! Thank you for visiting the College of Arts and Sciences web site. I hope you find it useful. If you have questions, be sure to ask. Below are a few thoughts I'd like to share as we progress through the 2015-2016 academic year.
Staying true to the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences at EMU means celebrating and promoting the liberal arts. We hear in the news about the need for colleges to focus on job skills. The argument holds that students and their families pay a lot for a college education and they should have a job to go along with the diploma. I don't disagree. But a true EMU college experience is larger than that. It prepares students for employment plus a career in a changing world, one where students graduating today may experience multiple job changes over a working life. How do you prepare for that? By engagement in the liberal arts through our nationally recognized general education program, almost entirely provided by the College of Arts and Sciences. There is no substitute for writing skills, the ability to form and articulate ideas, and a foundation of knowledge from a variety of disciplines that will support decision making in the home, workplace and public sphere. That's a key element of the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences.
I am pleased to welcome twenty-two outstanding new faculty in the college this fall. They represent disciplines across the college in the arts, sciences, social sciences and the humanities. For brief biographies of this impressive group, follow this link.
It's important to foster new ideas and directions in academic programming. To that end, I am pleased to continue the Dean's Program Development initiative as well as a new initiative, the Dean's Interdisciplinary Research and Creative activity award. Details about each are here.
We will pick up the pace of support for the arts this coming year and beyond. I am pleased that the Art Department's sculpture building, after many years in an outdated facility, will be renovated beginning this year. We will increase the overall space and take necessary steps to address health and safety issues. Sculpture will remain in its northwest campus location near the Ceramics facility and form the core of a future "three dimensional arts" complex. The Alexander Music Building, home of the nationally accredited Department of Music and Dance, got some needed maintenance of its roof and HVAC system this past year. Other steps we will take over the coming months are applications for national accreditation in theater, art and dance.
Take a short drive through Ypsilanti and you will immediately notice banners with images of many of our top faculty researchers. Clearly, Eastern supports research. The University has launched a media campaign intended to illuminate some of the excellent research and creative activities that our faculty are doing. The college supports this increased emphasis on research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Undergraduate Symposium has long been the jewel in the college's crown, where faculty mentors guide students in scholarly and creative pursuits.