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Photo of the Purdue drum statue.

Office of the Dean

August 2023

Dear Colleagues,

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

Before I speak to the traditional beginning of semester in the College, I would like to address the news shared Friday. I am grateful to President Mung Chiang for the opportunity to serve the entire university as Senior Vice President for Policy Planning. I look forward to that additional charge and am grateful to all who have shared well wishes in response to the appointment. I am pleased to be able to assume these responsibilities while continuing to serve as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. We have made great strides over the past eight years, and I am eager to continue to advance toward our goals. With that, let me turn to the beginning of the year for the College.

Again this fall, it is my pleasure to welcome a significant cohort of new faculty. Today 35 faculty join us in West Lafayette. While a few will be on various leaves for the coming academic year, these faculty recruits are outstanding scholars and educators from leading universities across the U.S. and abroad. Much of our hiring included strategic investment in expanding our research profile in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and sociogenomics. All of these scholars will be integral to our commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship. Please join me in welcoming them. You can read more about our new colleagues and their work here.

To expand our Empowering Excellence initiative, I am pleased to announce a new faculty support program aimed at enhancing our research success. The College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Faculty Research Fellows program will focus on enhancing faculty excellence and elevating our research profile. To that end, it will support faculty whose research projects can have significant influence on a field of scholarship and increase the College’s contribution to AAU Phase I indicators of research impact for the University. Dean’s Faculty Research Fellows will have no teaching or service obligations for a full academic year. Fellows will receive full compensation plus one month of summer salary and a $10,000 research allocation. Applications will be by invitation only. One to three CLA Dean’s Faculty Fellows may be selected annually based upon proposals submitted by the Department Heads. The Dean’s Faculty Research Fellows program represents one element of the evolution of the internal College faculty development centersExploratory Research in the Social Sciences and Enhancing Research in the Humanities and Arts. More details on those programs will come this fall.

We will continue our faculty and graduate student support programs with funds from the Provost and additional investment from the College. This will enable us to offer the following faculty support programs this year:  AspireEngage, and Create. Updated program deadlines and guidelines will be published on the respective web pages. The portals will open for applications on Mon., Aug. 28.

These faculty support programs sit alongside the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Graduate Fellows program, a tool to recruit top graduate students to our disciplines. With support from the Central Administration, we offer highly-competitive graduate fellowships to support exceptional graduate students. CLA Dean’s Fellows will receive a stipend of $37,500 per year for six years with three years of fellowship and three years of research/teaching assistantship and $5,000 per year for travel and research support. Our CLA Dean’s Graduate Fellows will work alongside and in support of faculty whose scholarship will elevate the research profile of the College and contribute to AAU metrics. Up to ten CLA Dean’s Graduate Fellows will be selected annually based upon proposals submitted by the Department Heads. We will continue to provide support for graduate student research and creative endeavor through the PROMISE program as well. The PROMISE application will open on Mon., Aug. 28.

All of our College research support programs are reinforced by a slate of initiatives announced by President Chiang. In particular, I would point you to the provision for additional support tied to major review papers, monographs, and books as well as the support for interdisciplinary teams pursuing large grants. Both could be particularly helpful resources for scholars in our College. You can read more about the full complement of research support initiatives here.

Purdue Computes and the Institute for Physical AI (IPAI) created by President Chiang last spring are especially noteworthy and will help catalyze ongoing investments the College has made and continues to make in our research profile. I am pleased that our faculty are represented on the IPAI steering committee. Our ongoing investments in areas where the humanities, social sciences, and arts intersect with science and engineering topics are highlighted on our new STELLAR web page. I encourge you to explore the site and share your ongoing work in these areas with the Dean’s Office.

As part of our strategy to share our research, the College will incentivize faculty engagement with The Conversation. Purdue is a partner university with the online publisher of research-based news. The Conversation features short articles (800 words) by academics on timely topics. Coordinated by the marketing and communications team, faculty can pitch stories on their research or may respond to staff outreach regarding expert requests. For each article published on the platform, the faculty member will receive a $500 cash award.

As many of you are aware, work began this summer on the $46.6M space project approved by the Purdue Board of Trustees last October. The first phase includes work in Beering and Stanley Coulter halls which began earlier this month. I am grateful for the patience and hard work of the faculty, staff, and graduate students who were the first group of moves this summer. Looking forward, over the course of the next two years, many more of us in the College will move into new offices. We are committed to making all of this as smooth as possible.

It is a pleasure to welcome our new colleagues and welcome back others as we continue our efforts to elevate the College as an innovative leader in liberal arts education and scholarship. Our progress toward that goal has been significant. Thank you for the many contributions you have made and will make to our success.



David Reingold

David A. Reingold
Senior Vice President for Policy Planning
Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts