From the Dean

Dean Sapiro
Virginia Sapiro, Dean of Arts & Sciences

An academic year is a cycle—from the excitement of new students, new classes, and the first smell of falling leaves to the winter break and fresh start in the crunchy (or mushy) snow, to the sense of accomplishment and joy of Commencement and a new class of alumni going out to make their way in the world. But a university year is also the chance to make new advances in research and pedagogy and progress toward the goals that can secure Boston University’s place as one of the leading world-class universities.

Each new academic year unfolds as a new stage in a long journey through only partially charted territory. We know where we want to go—we mapped out our goals in the CAS Strategic Plan, Creating Our Future, 2010–2020. Each year, we pick up our journey from the year just ended, building on the accomplishments and lessons learned. With each step forward in recruiting ever-better faculty and students, engaging in path-breaking research, and developing new methods of teaching that take advantage of advances in both technology and our understanding of human cognition and learning, we are going where we haven’t been before.

We can see visible markers of great progress that occurred during the 2012/2013 academic year. We recruited the best class of undergraduates ever. Our newest faculty members hit the ground running, collecting an enviable range and number of honors and awards. The University launched a new framework for financial support of doctoral students that will have a dramatic impact on the quality of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Boston University accepted membership in the Association of American Universities, an invitation-only group of the 62 leading American and Canadian research universities. We completed the initial year of Boston University’s first capital campaign very successfully. We also faced critical internal and external challenges, including a difficult budget climate and a set of tragedies in Boston that touched us deeply.

Here are some journey markers of the difference this year made in the major commitments we set out in the CAS strategic plan.

Annual Report 2012/2013

  • From the DeanFrom the Dean
    From recruiting ever-better faculty and students to engaging in path-breaking research, academic year 2012/2013 was a year of great accomplishments.
  • New Structures for Organizing Discovery and EducationRecruiting Excellent Undergraduates
    CAS again attracted excellent students who bring with them a wealth of interesting experiences and who are eager to pursue their education in a large and exciting university in one of the major cities of the world.
  • Strengthening the Quality of the FacultyStrengthening Graduate Education
    BU and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences laid the groundwork for a tremendous strengthening of the quality of doctoral programs by developing a new budget model.
  • Strengthening the Quality of Undergraduate EducationStrengthening the Quality of the Faculty
    In 2012/2013, CAS recruited an exemplary cohort of 16 new assistant professors in fields across the humanities and social and natural sciences.
  • Strengthening the Quality of Graduate EducationEnhancing the Research Mission
    This year, Boston University was welcomed into the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of leading North American research universities—an accomplishment to which CAS, with its portfolio of research in the natural and social sciences and the humanities, was a key contributor.
  • Strengthening Our Research and ScholarshipStrengthening Connections to the Community and the World
    The College’s commitment to make the world a better—and better-understood—place contributes to BU’s growing reputation as a leading, global university.
  • Finances and DevelopmentManaging Our Financial Resources
    Despite the challenges facing all of higher education in recent years, careful fiscal management has allowed the College to again make progress toward achieving its long-term goals.
  • The Class of 2012Nurturing Connections with Alumni and Friends
    The College continues to develop new opportunities for continuing education, networking, and socializing to help alumni and friends stay connected.
  • AppendixA Community in Mourning
    The BU community and CAS came together in many ways in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
  • AppendixOur Impact, Your Impact: The Campaign for CAS
    In 2012/2013, BU entered the public phase of its first capital campaign, inspiring many alumni, parents and other friends of CAS to step up support for our annual fund and critical projects.
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