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Dean's Initiatives

Strengthen Undergraduate Experience


Degree in 3 offers an expedited course of study for 20+ majors with a three-year track to a degree. For more than 80 percent of incoming students pursuing a bachelor of arts, a three-year path to a degree is an option. Degree in 3 students will differentiate themselves as driven, focused, and motivated. These students will complete the same degree requirements, the same classes, and the same number of credits as any student who earns a degree from our college. Students will be able to participate fully in campus life, study abroad, and complete an internship even as they proceed on an accelerated, economical path to a bachelor’s degree and begin their careers a year earlier.


Cornerstone seeks to enhance the educational experience of all students through its faculty-taught courses. The 15 credit hour certificate program adds depth to majors in Engineering, Science, Technology, Health, and Management with a series of themes that teach students to view areas of study through the lens of the humanities and social sciences. A new two-semester sequence seeks to redefine the first-year experience. These faculty-taught courses will cultivate exceptional communication skills and develop an appreciation for the need to examine a diversity of opinions and develop as lifelong learners. It fosters the creative thinking that makes good business and industry leaders positioned to make a transformative impact on the world and their communities.


Degree+ offers students the opportunity to complete a bachelor of arts degree program in combination with another undergraduate degree program at Purdue University West Lafayette. Students who are actively pursuing a major in both the Liberal Arts and another college/school (Agriculture, Education, Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Management, Pharmacy, Polytechnic Institute, Science, and Veterinary Medicine) will have the Liberal Arts core waived while maintaining progress toward completion of the outside degree program. For many students, this makes the completion of two (or more) degrees more manageable.


The Liberal Arts Career Center helps students launch their careers through internships and first jobs. Through company partnerships, alumni connections, and career-focused programming, the Career Center helps students gain practical experience alongside their academics and get a foot in the door with potential employers while broadening the appreciation for Liberal Arts graduates as an important talent resource.


Job-Ready addresses the need for practical, on-the-job experience alongside strong academic preparation. To make unpaid and low-paid internship opportunities a viable option for more students, the College will provide awards of up to $2,000 for students who choose to pursue such opportunities.


Innovate supports an energized commitment to undergraduate education. The Innovate Fund provides funding to faculty members to develop new, forward-looking majors, minors, and certificates in its undergraduate programs as well as polishing and improving established programs and curricula.


A grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will allow Purdue to become a national leader in the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data. By organizing a series of four events featuring leading experts on ethics of AI and Big Data, Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts will develop a blueprint for undergraduate professional ethics curricula that will address the many ethical challenges presented by fast-evolving digital technologies.

Upgrade Graduate Education


To ensure that our graduate programs remain vibrant, nationally-recognized, and positioned to advance the research mission of the College, we are committed to reducing the overall number of graduate students, working towards higher graduate stipends, lowering teaching loads, and increasing research support to nurture the next generation of scholars. Those are the hallmarks of excellence in graduate education and hallmarks of our commitment to the students who choose Purdue for their graduate study. Between Fall 2015 to Fall 2022, we reduced the number of incoming funded graduate students across the college by 20 percent and increased minimum stipends from $14,000 to $18,000. During the same period, we doubled the percentage of students in graduate research assistantships from 10 to 21 percent. These increases represent progress toward goals outlined in early 2016 and discussed in an article from Inside Higher Ed.


Promoting Research Opportunities to Maximize Innovation and Scholarly Excellence (PROMISE) Awards enhance graduate student education by empowering research and creative activity in the liberal arts. Support will take the form of awards for domestic research and conferences as well as international research and travel.


The Dean’s Graduate Fellowship program is designed to elevate research and creative endeavor in the College of Liberal Arts. The graduate fellows are expected to contribute to the strategic effort of the College to support excellence in research at all levels. These high-level, highly-competitive graduate fellowships recruit top-flight graduate students to work alongside - and in support of - faculty whose scholarship will elevate the research profile of the College and contribute to important campus AAU metrics.

Enhance Faculty Excellence


Aspire addresses the importance of the scholarship of our faculty to enhance institutional excellence and to promote all areas of intellectual inquiry. Funding will support expenses related to scholarship and creative activity both domestically and internationally. We are committed to championing CLA faculty research.


CREATE supports the development of new artistic works emphasizing the need to address the expenses directly related to the research and production and presentation of new creative work. Create will inspire creative individuals to produce and present artistic work at the very highest levels.


Engage provides financial support to tenure‐track faculty members, especially early‐ and mid‐career faculty, to organize two to three workshops focused on advancing a piece of scholarship and/or creative activity that is in final draft form. An individual Liberal Arts faculty member (or co‐authors) with a final draft of a book manuscript, two to three related journal articles, and/or a creative work (e.g., a play, a piece of music, a collection of artwork) can invite three to five leading scholars and/or practitioners in the field to visit campus and consult and advise on ways to strengthen/improve the work-in-progress as part of a competitive funding program.


2Teach enables tenured faculty to expand their teaching with study in a second/related discipline and develop their undergraduate instruction capabilities to better align their own academic interests with the teaching needs of the College. With significant percentages of undergraduate instruction delivered by graduate students, many faculty in the College have focused much of their teaching on graduate students, generally in areas tied to their own specialized research. As undergraduate teaching duties shift back to the faculty, it is critical that more faculty members in the College are equipped to provide excellent undergraduate instruction.


The College developed and launched a new resource for researchers in the Social Sciences. The BRASS (Boiler Research Analysis for Social Sciences) server provides access to a number of statistical software packages and tools for Purdue researchers without any fees. Running on a secure and scalable server environment, this platform can grow to meet evolving needs.