With graduation only a few days away, I want to take this moment to express my gratitude to you for a successful academic year. This year started with the welcoming of UO’s largest freshman class and will culminate with CAS graduating 2,441 undergraduate and 280 graduate students. Thank you for your hard work and extraordinary commitment to all our students over these past months. I hope your summer brings opportunities for fun and joy — not to mention well-deserved relaxation.
This past year, I’m especially grateful for your patience and cooperation as we continue to implement our new shared services structure. We knew the implementation would be challenging, and it has been. I deeply appreciate the way you have all stepped up to try and make it work. We are doing our best to help ease the strain by continuing to hire and train staff in our Academic Service Units and the CAS Business Office, as well as collaborating on workflows with other academic and business hubs on campus. Please bear with us a little longer. We are committed to providing excellent support to the CAS community.
We are thrilled to welcome the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) as a unit of the CAS family. The hands-on labs, field work, and small courses available at OIMB already create incredible learning experiences for our undergraduates, and bringing this resource beneath our umbrella will enhance opportunities for our students and faculty to take full advantage of this campus on Oregon’s coastal waters. Indeed, this last weekend, OIMB christened a new boat, the “Megalopa” — which is the term for the transitional stage between a crab larva and juvenile crab — creating even more opportunities for research and learning.
I’m also pleased to report that our two new CAS schools — the School of Computer and Data Sciences (SCDS) and the School of Global Studies and Languages (GSL) — are developing well, and we expect them to continue building student enrollment in the coming year. We’ve recently launched a nationwide search for an SCDS director and will invite finalists to visit campus early in the fall term. We’re also looking forward to the upcoming fall launch within SCDS of a new cybersecurity major, a technology major that will train students in an area that addresses national workforce needs.
Thanks to the effort and creativity of our departments, our Institutional Hiring Plan (IHP) proposals were very successful this year: we received Provost approval for 36 new tenure-track positions. We are especially excited to be building SCDS with three hires each in computer science and data science and to be expanding our Latinx Studies Program next year with six new tenure-track faculty positions across six departments. These new faculty will add expertise on critical issues of race and racism; access and equity; and social, cultural, and political debates pertinent to Chicanx, Latinx, and Latin American Studies.
Finally, as you may know, we have restructured the CAS leadership team. We recently expanded the team to better align our leadership structure with CAS priorities and to better support our academic units in the areas of graduate studies, research and scholarship, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Lara Bovilsky (Graduate Studies), Jennifer Pfeifer (Research), and Nadia Singh (DEI) will be joining the team over the summer. Additionally, on July 1, 2023, Bruce McGough will be joining us as Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Elliot Berkman as Associate Dean for Natural Sciences. Harry Wonham will continue as Associate Dean for Humanities. I’m looking forward to the energy, creativity, and expertise our new appointees will bring to the leadership team, and I am filled with gratitude for the many contributions Hal Sadofsky and Phil Scher made to the college and university.
On a personal note, thank you all for warmly welcoming me to CAS and UO over the academic year. UO is a very special place, and I look forward to working with you all in the coming year to continue to advance our excellence in research, teaching, and service, and to foster a community where all feel that they belong and are supported. Until then, have a fantastic and restorative summer.
Chris J. Poulsen
Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Earth Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences | University of Oregon
1030 E. 13th Avenue | Eugene, OR | 97403