From the Dean
Virginia Sapiro, Dean of Arts & Sciences
Technological and social change has just one speed: faster. To keep up with this relentless pace, to be leaders and not just followers, our students will need to continue to learn and change ahead of the curve throughout their adult lives. The best way to prepare for a life of steep learning is to acquire the broad and deep platform of knowledge, intellectual and social skills, and experiences that a first-class education in the liberal arts and sciences offers. The College of Arts & Sciences is the heart of a great university that ensures that our students will have this strong platform that will serve them for the rest of their lives. At the same time, our first-rate faculty are fueling important parts of the best changes we see around us by engaging at the cutting edge of research that provides the power of discovery, insight, vision, and imagination.
Our dedication to fulfilling the fundamental commitments laid out in the 2010 strategic plan to provide the best possible undergraduate and graduate education, pioneering research, and to push forward our leadership as a major urban and global research and teaching university is stronger than ever. Although we still have a long way to go, our success is evident to me every day. This annual report provides a glimpse into the achievements of the past year.
During the 2010/11 academic year, the College again hired another class of superb new faculty members across the humanities and the social and natural sciences who have arrived and are eagerly working with BU students, and they have launched their research and scholarship here. And it is not just faculty who are engaged in research. This year, more CAS faculty than ever involved a greater number of undergraduates in their research, giving our students opportunities to acquire skills and experiences unavailable anywhere else. The students of today will need these skills throughout their. During the 2010/11 academic year, we were able to step up the CAS First-Year Experience in ways that help our students navigate their first year at BU successfully and we made major improvements in academic advising.
This past year offered a great example of how faculty work together to create our future in important research areas. In February 2011, we held an all-day Earth Systems Forum, an internal conference, in which faculty from all around CAS and the University organized panels to talk to each other about ongoing research in the broad areas of earth systems, environmental studies, and geoscience. The room was filled with geographers, earth scientists, engineers, biologists, chemists, biologists, public policy experts, economists, philosophers, astronomers, and others—all aiming to share information about their work and together create aspirations for what Boston University can achieve to advance our knowledge in this critical area. After the Earth Systems Forum was over, they organized smaller working groups to develop more specific ideas. This work will be the basis for future commitments to improve our education and research, and make a real difference in the world.
And knowledge does make a difference—for our students, who are developing the platform from which they will launch themselves into their futures, and for our faculty, whose discoveries and insights can change our world. Our successes in nurturing learning and discovery constitute the difference a year makes.
Annual Report 2010/2011
- From the Dean
In the past year the College of Arts & Sciences has gone from strength to strength.
- Strengthening the Quality of the Faculty
The strength and reputation of Boston University and CAS as a world-class teaching and research institution rest on the quality of its faculty.
- Attracting and Nurturing the Best Students
By maintaining high standards of academic quality and integrity and adhering to the best liberal arts traditions, CAS increasingly is regarded as a prime destination by intelligent and highly motivated students.
- Strengthening the Student Experience: Focusing on Student Success
The College of Arts & Sciences works hard to attract great students and is committed to making sure they stay once they get here.
- Strengthening Graduate Education
Graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences learn that a critical component of their education is the need to apply what they learn to the benefit of their communities.
- Enhancing The Research Mission In The College Of Arts & Sciences
The research trajectory of the College continued its upward climb this year.
- Strengthening Our Connections to the Community and the World
In keeping with the collaborative teaching and research culture that exists across BU, CAS partners in many graduate programs across the University.
- Managing Our Financial Resources
The current economic downturn has had a real impact on resource development initiatives at colleges and universities nationwide.
- Nurturing Our Connections with Alumni and Friends
Strong, vital connections with alumni are critical to our being able to realize the goals we have indentified in our strategic planning and beyond.
- Celebrating the Class of 2011
Seniors and their families, faculty, trustees, and other members of the BU community celebrated the 138th Commencement of Boston University at Nickerson Field on Sunday, May 22.