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Office of the Dean

January 2016

Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to welcome you back to campus. I trust everyone had a restful break and we are all re-charged for another semester.

It has been a busy academic year with new programs of support and also difficult conversations about how to best move the College forward with the vision of emerging as a leader in innovative Liberal Arts education and scholarship.

In late December, I had the opportunity to share that vision with Purdue’s Board of Trustees. The Board responded very favorably and expressed their support of the College both during the meeting and in subsequent conversations. I am thankful to the entire College community for the crucial role you have played providing the context and the ideas that shape our goals.

As we look to 2016, and beyond, four goals will guide our efforts. Let me share them here. We will:

  • Strengthen the Undergraduate Experience
  • Upgrade Graduate Education
  • Enhance Faculty Excellence
  • Expand Revenue Sources

With these four goals in mind, I believe we can begin to emerge as a leader in the Liberal Arts.

All of this comes in response to significant challenges in the form of declining undergraduate enrollment, graduate programs that have been weakened by uncompetitive stipends and misallocation of teaching duties, and internal and external perceptions of the Liberal Arts.

The initiatives we will pursue to achieve those goals are ones we have discussed throughout this school year. A College of Liberal Arts Roadmap for 2016 which accompanies this letter and which will be provided to every academic and administrative unit of the College offers more detail.

Alongside these plans, I am pleased to share news of an important demonstration of support for the College from the University administration. The campus set aside $1M for salary equity adjustments. According to the provost, “The primary focus of the FEI will be in disciplines where comparative data shows that our faculty salaries are below 90% of the average of our peers, especially in programs of high peer rankings.” With a dual focus on equity and faculty excellence, I am pleased to announce that CLA has been awarded $425K. This represents more than 40% of the pool even though we have approximately 13% of the faculty on campus.

Those groups, by academic unit and rank, eligible for equity adjustments through the program are:

  • English—Associate Professor/Professor
  • Languages and Cultures—Professor
  • Philosophy—Professor
  • Political Science—Assistant Professor/Associate Professor/Professor
  • Visual and Performing Arts—Associate Professor/Professor

I will close on a final note tied to our undergraduate student recruitment. Thanks to an impressive team effort, our admitted students for fall 2016 are up more than 16% in comparison to the same week last year. I am particularly pleased that our in-state numbers are up more than 34% with domestic out-of-state students up more than 17%.

Now, the crucial task of recruiting those students to Purdue becomes our focus. There are many elements involved in students’ decisions about what college to attend. Perhaps none is more important than understanding how they fit into the university they are considering. I encourage everyone in the College to be a part of those conversations. Whether you are working with the recruitment team on events for prospective students or simply helping a student find their way across campus, that interaction is a key to our success. Thank you in advance for making the time to welcome these students and introducing them to our community.

With best wishes for a productive, and I hope soon warmer, spring semester.


David Reingold

David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts