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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Message from the Dean

As the largest school by far, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is the heart of Boston University. Home to more than 7,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students, the College offers a valuable journey of learning and discovery across a broad range of the humanities and the social, natural, and computational sciences. The Arts & Sciences faculty is a community of dedicated scholars and teachers whose research changes the boundaries of our knowledge and imagination, and whose teaching will bear fruit through the accomplishments of their students for years to come. Our faculty includes Nobel Prize winners, Poets Laureate of the United States, a National Book Award winner, members of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Guggenheim Fellows, and a host of others recognized by their peers as leaders in their fields.

The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences play a pivotal role in the continuing trajectory of excellence of Boston University. Choosing to be Great, the statement of the University’s strategic plan, identifies CAS as a crucial platform on which further progress will be made. I hope it is not immodest to say, “Rightly so.” CAS provides the foundational liberal arts core for the undergraduate education of the students in BU’s great professional schools. Our graduate students and faculty pursue knowledge in the fundamental core humanities and social, natural, and computational science fields. We are proud of our role and prominence in the story of Boston University, but with that centrality comes the obligation to define and create our future clearly, boldly, and—especially in these economically challenging times—carefully.

My vision for my leadership centers on sharpening three aspirations that are fundamental elements of a great College of Arts & Sciences:

  • Building vibrant, supportive, and productive learning communities of academic excellence for students, faculty, and staff across our great diversity of fields
  • Devoting ourselves to the values and practices of the liberal arts and a liberal education
  • Seeking to be valuable citizens of our larger communities—the University, the Commonwealth, the country, and the wider world

No university, no school, or college can be great without a first-class faculty, and we uphold a fundamental belief that CAS’s strength, as well as our students’ journey, depends upon the hiring, retaining, and nurturing of world-class faculty. We have been working diligently to plan our priorities for replacing faculty as they retire and expanding our faculty as promised in the University’s strategic plan. I am grateful that despite the fact that BU, like all other colleges and universities, must face some harsh realities in this time of national economic crisis, the health of this University and our skilled leadership ensure that we are able to move forward with these priorities.

Our efforts also are enhanced by the vital involvement of outstanding alumni, who are doing impressive things in their personal and professional lives and serve as shining examples of the exceptional liberal arts education we offer in CAS. They are making their marks on just about every profession and walk of life imaginable—proof positive that a liberal arts degree can lead to great things.

Whether you are introducing yourself to Arts & Sciences for the first time or planning a visit to campus, or you are a member of our community already, I urge you to explore this website to learn more about the vibrant and productive learning environment at Arts & Sciences.

Virginia Sapiro
Dean of Arts & Sciences

Life on the Farm

They spent more than 30 years in Madison, Wis., before packing up and moving East. Relocating to Boston two years ago, they made a home in Kenmore Square, right under the Citgo sign. In that short time they've settled in as members of the BU community, Gina and Graham to many, but better known as Virginia Sapiro, dean of Arts & Sciences, and Graham Wilson, College of Arts & Sciences professor of political science.

The Value of a Liberal Arts Education

Virginia Sapiro, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, discusses why a liberal arts education is important and how it helps prepare students for future careers.

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