Dear Friends of the College of Arts and Sciences,
As we enter deeper into fall semester and anticipate the reflective cycle of Advent and the birth of a new year, let us remember to take time to be grateful for the many gifts of mind, body, and spirit that are ours. Over and over we are called to be faithful to the call of the prophet Micah: “Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.” In the spirit of sharing and building community, I invite you to catch-up on a number of important initiatives of the College by perusing the CAS Dean’s Report, which is attached below as a download.
This has been a very busy Fall Semester! We welcomed 368 freshmen into the College of Arts and Sciences Class of 2019 in August. I am deeply grateful for the good work of the associate deans and the dean’s office staff, the faculty, and our CAS Office Managers for preparing the academic programs offered through the College’s fifteen departments and five interdisciplinary minors. Also, my gratitude to the upper administration’s strong support in helping us meet our academic responsibilities to serve our majors, minors, and the University Core Curriculum. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in helping ensure that every UP student continues to receive the very best Holy Cross liberal arts education possible in the humanities and the natural and social sciences.
Integrative Conversations: Students, faculty, and staff packed the University of Portland Bookstore on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 for the second Integrative Conversations event hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences, the McNerney-Hanson Endowed Chair in Ethics and the Catholic Studies Program. Dr. Michael F. Andrews (Dean, Philosphy), Dr. Gary Malecha (Political Science), Dr. William Barnes (Economics), Dr. Tina Astorga (Theology), and Dr. Steve Kolmes (Environmental Studies) gathered in the newly renovated bookstore to discuss the implications of climate change on the environment, society, and the entire world. Their discussion was guided by Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment. Dean Andrews was acting MC for the night, and began the event by comparing the integration of disciplines present at the event to the integration of the College of Arts and Sciences curriculum. Through hearing from different disciplines, the speakers gave the audience a chance to understand climate change through multiple different lenses. Please read the full story of this event, below.
CAS faculty searches: Currently the College of Arts and Sciences is conducting six replacement faculty searches for AY16. Since I have the privilege of meeting with all of the final candidates from each search, I know full well the amount of hard work and effort that departments and individuals and search committees consistently extend. As the dean, I believe there is no single work more important to our academic mission than the hiring of excellent faculty, teachers, researchers, mentors, and colleagues.
Congratulations to nine CAS faculty members granted sabbatical during one or both semesters of AY2016: Profs. Christin Hancock (HST), Greg Hill (MTH), McRee (SOC), Curtis (POL), Downs (PSY), More (PHY), Orr (ENG), McDonald (ENG), and McLary (ILC). We wish them success in their scholarly endeavors and look forward to learning more about their research and writing projects when they return to campus.
Program Review is now underway for the Department of Biology. Thanks again to everyone involved in Biology’s program review and planning for the external visit. Last year’s Program Reviews for Theology and Sociology were very successful and will be helpful for future planning and assessment. These two departments are awaiting the President’s Response to the External Visitor’s Report; then each department will be invited to share its final reflections in order to close the loop. Special thanks to Associate Dean Norah Martin for helping keep everyone involved, focused, and on-track throughout the ongoing process of assessment.
I am pleased to report that an updated CAS Mission Statement is now posted online. The Dean’s Task Force met numerous times over the course of eighteen months, reviewing several drafts. Under the able guidance of Steve Kolmes (Molter Chair in Science), other members of the Task Force included Ed Valente (Chemistry); Cara Hersh (English); Laura McLary (International Languages & Cultures); Dann Pierce (Communication Studies); and Anne Santiago (Political Science). The Task Force presented the fifth working draft in Spring Semester 2015, which was distributed for comments and recommendations to the faculty. Dr. Kolmes presented the sixth draft at All-College Meeting on August 27, at which time faculty were given an opportunity to review the statement and share additional comments before a final draft was completed. The updated CAS Mission Statement is now available on the College’s website.
2015 Murdock College Science Research Conference: Congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s annual Murdock Student Research Conference on November 6-7, 2015, co-hosted by the University of Portland in Vancouver, WA. All of the UP student presentations and poster sessions were excellent. Special congratulations to UP students Calli VanderWilde and Brooke Homes and Dr. Ted Eckmann, ENV faculty advisory, who received a Murdock Poster Prize in Environmental Science for excellent student poster presentations in the life sciences: “Performance of a Vegetated Roof with Xeric Species in Portland, OR”
The second CAS All-College Council will take place on Friday, January 22, 3:30-5PM. This is meeting of all CAS department chairs, program directors, and directors of minors provides an annual gathering of CAS academic leadership.
Some special CAS Faculty to Congratulate:
Congratulations to Dr. Robert Butler (Environmental Studies) who has been awarded the 2015 Neil Miner Award in honor of his exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth sciences. Dr. Butler is a professor of science in the Department of Environmental Studies and received the Fred Fox Distinguished Service to Science Education Award from the Oregon Science Teachers Association in October, 2014. Bob will be officially retiring from UP at the end of fall semester, and we look forward to celebrating this important occasion with him later in the year.
Dr. Christina Astorga’s (Chair, Theology) second book, Catholic Moral Theology and Social Ethics: A New Method, won third place in the Catholic Press Association book Award for 2015. Tina also received the 2014 College Theological Society Best Book Award.
Dr. Alice Gates (Sociology and Social Work), is this year’s winner of the Marie O. Weil Outstanding Scholarship Award, co-sponsored by the Association of Community Organizations and Social Administration (ACOSA) and Taylor & Francis Publisher. Dr. Gates’ article, “Integrating social services and social change: Lessons from an immigrant worker center,” was based on her multi-year ethnography of an immigrant workers’ organization in southeastern Michigan. The award recognizes outstanding scholarship published in the Journal of Community Practice and is based on contributions to the field, scholarly approach, and promotion of macro practice values.
Michael F. Andrews, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
McNerney-Hanson University Endowed Chair in Ethics and
Professor of Philosophy