Skip to main content
Photo of the Purdue drum statue.

Office of the Dean

August 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to welcome you back to campus, and for so many of you, to welcome you to Purdue.

Last August, I announced that the College would be conducting 40 faculty searches. Today, 46 new faculty join us in West Lafayette. While a few will be on various leaves for the coming academic year, all are now faculty of this College and will help as we continue to advance teaching and scholarship. Please join me in welcoming them. You can read more about our new colleagues and their work here.

Building upon the talents of these new faculty at the intersection of technology, data science, and engineering, this year our hiring will include cluster searches in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and sociogenomics. Both of those will be in partnership with the College of Science and will expand our strategic investments and research profiles in these areas of study.

As AI expands into new domains, academic, business, and government leaders are grappling with its implications in terms of regulation, liability, marketability and the unknown psychological, social, economic, and ecological effects of AI and human interaction. These hires will expand our capacity and capability to deliver our new BA in AI, which educates students to ask questions about the nature of intelligence and to consider the ethical principles that should guide the development and implementation of rapidly emerging technologies.

A relatively new field, sociogenomics brings together perspectives from across the social sciences and demography with the most advanced methods and technologies in statistical and computational genetics. It explores how genetics, the environment, and social forces interact to shape complex human behaviors and outcomes. Of particular interest are candidates with expertise in incorporating genetic data into research that investigates social, political, policy, and health outcomes and topics. Complementary areas of interest are bioethics and the history of genomics. Watch for an invitation later this week to a presentation on this emerging field.

Alongside these faculty hires, I am pleased to announce a new graduate student initiative. The College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Fellows program will create a tool to recruit top graduate students to our disciplines. With support from the Central Administration, we will offer highly-competitive graduate fellowships to support exceptional graduate students. CLA Dean’s Fellows will receive a stipend of $35K/year for six years with three years of fellowship and three years of research/teaching assistantship, and $5K/year for travel and research support. Our CLA Dean’s Fellows will work alongside and in support of faculty whose scholarship will elevate the research profile of the College and contribute to key Association of American Universities (AAU) metrics. Up to five CLA Dean’s Fellows will be selected annually based upon proposals submitted by the Department Heads.

Since last spring, we have had several key staff changes as well.

Tera Bivins joined the College at the end of the academic year as our senior human relations business partner. She is a resource for all faculty, staff, and graduate students and our point of contact for HR-related questions. This summer we recast the leadership of the College’s Oral English Proficiency (OEPP) and Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE) programs, both of which provide important campuswide support for international students. Mark Haugen serves as the new director of OEPP while Matthew Allen serves as the new director of PLaCE. Please join me in congratulating Tera, Mark, and Matthew on their new roles in the College.

I am excited to announce that the Purdue OWL has moved to a new location in the Krach Leadership Center. The On-campus Writing Lab now sits in Purdue’s student life corridor and is positioned to have even greater reach among students in academic majors across the campus. Purdue OWL Director Harry Denny and his team of professional staff, graduate, and undergraduate students are ready to welcome students, faculty, and staff to visit their new location on the second floor of Krach.

As many of you are aware, a CLA Space Study began in late April to explore solutions for Heavilon Hall and University Hall. Over the course of the summer, faculty, staff, and graduate students from across the College have participated in a series of meetings to help inform the work of the consultants leading the study. Please join me in thanking all who have participated in that process on behalf of the College.

We will continue our faculty and graduate student support programs with generous support from the Provost and additional funds from the College. This will enable us to offer the following faculty support programs this year:  AspirePROMISEEngage, and Create. Program deadlines and guidelines are on the respective web pages. In addition, the College will provide funding from these grant programs: Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences, Enhancing Research in the Humanities and Arts, and the Global Synergy Research Grants for faculty and graduate students. We anticipate some evolution of these programs in the near future to meet the strategic research goals of the College.

The year ahead promises to be a busy one and one which I hope represents a much-needed return to normalcy in our work across the College. It is a pleasure to welcome our new colleagues and welcome back others as we continue our collective efforts to elevate the College as an innovative leader in liberal arts education and scholarship. We have made significant progress toward that goal over the past seven years. Thank you for the many contributions you have made to our success.



David Reingold

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