An Important Message from the Dean
During this past year, people have come up to me, very tentatively, to ask me “how I was holding up” in my interim position as dean. I think I surprised them when I replied that I was enjoying the experience thoroughly. It has been gratifying to be given the chance to face new and significant duties and to get to know faculty and students from a new perspective. Reviewing faculty dossiers for long-term contract, promotion and sabbatical has afforded me the opportunity to become more familiar with their interests and research. I am so impressed by the range of what they are involved in and what they know. I’ve worked with students around the table at the Task Force for Social Justice in Teaching and Learning, heard their insights during discussions of Beyoncé’s effect on the discourse around race, learned about their research interests at senior seminar class meetings and symposia. All these events have made me happy they are at Lesley. I know our new incoming dean, Steven Shapiro, will enjoy this role as much as I have, and I look forward to working with him when he arrives in August.
In my first message to the incoming students at the beginning of this academic year, I spoke about my hope that a sense of CLAS community would grow. When I imagined community at that point, I pictured, rather naively, something large, overarching, including all our CLAS members in a big superdome-like structure of “school identity.” I now find that model inadequate and unrealistic. Real, vibrant and sustaining community is formed in many and smaller units: in classrooms; in the group of first-semester students who spearheaded the “Meeting of the Minds” event in the fall and then later presented on it at Community of Scholars Day; the Dean’s Open Houses that allowed the faculty and staff to share ideas and expertise on a range of different areas, from theoretical physics to women in Islam to projects completed during sabbaticals; the number of service and student activity organizations recognized at the Leadership Dinner on May 6th. It is these events and groups that moor and sustain us. All best wishes for a productive and restorative summer.
Christine Ann Evans, PhDInterim DeanCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences
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