Welcome to the start of the 2022-23 academic year! And, for those of you—like me—who are new to campus, welcome to the University of Oregon and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)! This is already shaping up to be a remarkable year—we learned this week that UO is welcoming a record 5,388 freshman students.
The buzz around campus in these first few days has been truly energizing: parents and new students tackling move-ins; returning students enthusiastically greeting old friends; faculty busily preparing their syllabi and courses; advisors guiding undergrad and graduate students; and CAS and university staff ensuring that everything runs smoothly. The flurry of activity is contagious.
I am excited by what lies ahead in the coming year, including the return to a more pre-pandemic-like existence with increased in-person activities. The pandemic has taught us how critical face-to-face interaction is to building and sustaining our CAS community. As part of the return to “normal,” we have asked instructors to encourage and expect student engagement in classes. For many, this will mean a more structured set of expectations and somewhat less flexibility than during the pandemic. At the same time, we know that coronavirus variants are still with us, so please take care of yourselves and stay home if you become ill.
This year, we expect to focus on new initiatives in Data Science and the Environment, our new School of Global Studies and Languages, and student success and outcomes. To support the latter, Melissa Baese-Berk, Associate Dean for Student Success, Career and Pedagogy, and Jamie Bufalino, Associate Dean for Student Success, Advising, and Curriculum, have joined the CAS leadership team. We also are implementing Shared Services across CAS, and we are working to make the transition as smooth as possible, knowing that such restructuring always comes with unexpected challenges.
Finally, we continue to work toward advancing our core principles of diversity, equity and inclusion to make CAS a place where all community members—faculty, staff, and students—feel that they belong and can thrive. Though it goes without saying, please be reminded that bigotry, discrimination, or harassment have no place at UO. If you see or experience this type of intolerable behavior, report it at: investigations.uoregon.edu/how-report.
I am thrilled to be at UO and I am genuinely excited to be supporting the transformational work that goes on in CAS through its teaching, research and service. I hope this year is a productive and stimulating one for you all. I look forward to meeting you and learning about your work throughout the year.
Tykeson Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
University of Oregon