Fall 2014 Dean's Message

Dear Colleagues,

As we begin the fall 2014 semester, I want to take a moment to thank you for your continued support and to share with you some of the College’s successes and accomplishments. 

This year, 39 new faculty, including 19 tenure-track faculty, joined the College family.  This new cohort will help the College and the University continue on our path of excellence in teaching, research/scholarship, and service.  As you see these new faces on campus, I encourage you to take a moment to welcome and engage them in conversation.  For this year, I have initiated searches for about 30 new tenure-track faculty positions.  I will continue to assess the College’s needs and priorities to meet the goals of our strategic plan.

We are consistently looking for ways to improve support for our faculty.  As a result, we have created a new program to facilitate the promotion of Associate Professors to full Professors; the College policy on leaves and the supplemental salary for fellowships and scholarships was revisited; and the international travel funds for faculty have been expanded to offer more faculty the opportunity to travel for conferences/seminars.  Several new educational programs were approved: the Independent Major; a new GIS Certificate Program; a new Certificate Program in Sustainability; the Joint Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) (Miller School of Medicine) and Latin American Studies (LAS); and an English Minor in Creative Writing.

I am proud to highlight our success in fundraising thanks to the generosity of current and retired faculty, employees, parents, alumni, and friends of the College.  With more than two years remaining in the Momentum2 (M2) campaign, the College has already raised $41 million, surpassing our goal of $40 million. This reflects an increase of $10 million over the previous Momentum campaign.  In addition, this year we have raised nearly $17 million to support our Lowe Art Museum.

This vital leap in philanthropic funding has helped us create new opportunities in the sciences, the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences.  Several of our units have already benefited from this tremendous effort.  Through philanthropic support, we are able to enhance student learning and provide continued support to the research and scholarship activities of our faculty.  To name a few examples: new programs to support travel and research by our lecturers; endowed professorships to attract renowned faculty to the College ranks; funds to help us retain our excellent faculty; fellowships (Holmes Endowed Fellowships) to improve our graduate student recruitment efforts; development funds in target departments to recruit more post-doctoral associates to the College; expanded funds to support travel by graduate and undergraduate students; funds to enhance the activities and offerings of the Center for the Humanities and the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas (Miami Institute for the Americas).

Beyond these achievements, we still have more to accomplish.  We are looking forward to the construction of the new integrated science building, a new building for our psychology department, and the renovation of our existing buildings.  Our faculty is the catalyst behind the success of many of our fundraising activities and I thank you for your support in our collective efforts.  I welcome your suggestions and ideas that will help the College to excel in its fundraising initiatives.

Best wishes for a great year!    

Leonidas G. Bachas
Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

September 04, 2014