From the Dean

Dean Sapiro
Virginia Sapiro, Dean of Arts & Sciences

CAS’s mission is to advance human understanding through world-class research and teaching and to prepare our students for a world that will keep changing throughout their lives. To do this, we must continually build on a strong platform of success using endless reserves of energy, commitment, and creativity backed by careful planning and the necessary resources. As I enter my eighth and final year as dean of Arts & Sciences, I am proud of how far creativity, teamwork, and sound planning have taken us as we advance this mission. But we are far from done.

Every year we repeat the cycle of the academic year from welcoming new students and faculty, through attending to the education and research we have chosen for our year’s work, through the excitement of our Commencement exercises. But each year must be more than a cycle; we must make a real difference in the quality and impact of our research and education, in the opportunities we offer our students and faculty, in the worldwide reputation of Boston University, and in the connections we make with our alumni.

In the past year, we gathered many of the fruits of our work over recent years. BU leapfrogged 10 other schools on the U.S. News & World Report ranking of colleges and universities, moving from 51st to 41st place overall. Our most talented first-year undergraduate class yet matriculated last year, reflecting the rising quality and reputation of BU. We welcomed a top-notch group of doctoral candidates drawn here by our strong programs and by a new five-year funding platform that puts us on a par with the leading research institutions. Our faculty captured many of the most important awards in their fields. The capital campaign progressed beyond the level of success we once imagined, crowned in the past year by the generous gift of Frederick S. Pardee, whose endowment gift allowed us to launch the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.

We will not stop with these successes. During 2013/14, we took many steps, large and small, to move the College of Arts & Sciences and Boston University forward through the efforts of the entire CAS community—our faculty, staff, students, administration, and alumni. This was a year that will make a long-term difference in the years ahead for all of the strategic goals we set out for ourselves. Here are some of the stories and highlights of this year of change and impact.

Annual Report 2013/2014

  • From the DeanFrom the Dean
    From recruiting ever-better faculty and students to surging ahead in our capital campaign, academic year 2013/2014 was a year of great accomplishments.
  • New Structures for Organizing Discovery and EducationImproving Undergraduate Education
    CAS once again attracted our most talented class of undergraduates ever. And we laid the groundwork to serve them even better, offering expanded academic opportunities and a comprehensive first-year experience program with over 500 first-year student participants.
  • Enhancing a World-Class FacultyStrengthening Graduate Education
    BU and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences saw immediate, strong results from our new five-year PhD funding model that has increased the attractiveness of doctoral programs.
  • Strengthening the Quality of Undergraduate EducationEnhancing a World-Class Faculty
    The quality of a university depends on the quality of its faculty, and hiring the best and giving them a strong start is crucial. In 2013/14, CAS hired 17 new assistant professors and 3 senior professors across the humanities and social, natural, and computational sciences.
  • Strengthening the Quality of Graduate EducationConducting Path-Breaking Research
    As the academic heart of BU and its biggest school, CAS’s dynamism is helping propel BU’s recognition as one of the finest research universities in the country. New initiatives including the Center for Systems Neuroscience, BU Initiative on Cities, and Center for Autism Research Excellence are taking our research to new heights.
  • Strengthening Our Research and ScholarshipDeepening Our Global Mission
    This year, thanks to a generous gift from Frederick S. Pardee (SMG’54, GSM’54, Hon.’06), we laid the groundwork for the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, launched in September 2014 and reporting to CAS. The Pardee School builds on the substantial success CAS has had in creating strong global and international studies programs.
  • Finances and DevelopmentStewarding Our Resources
    Boston University is financially healthy, although it faces the challenges of a continuing weak economy and many other issues that require skilled and careful management in higher education today. CAS is fortunate to benefit from BU’s wise management and our own diligent stewardship of our resources.
  • The Class of 2012Nurturing Connections with Alumni and Friends
    Boston University and the College of Arts & Sciences have made significant steps in building a framework for alumni to engage with faculty, other alumni, and current students in ongoing learning, discussion, and inquiry. Over 6,000 of the alumni attending BU Alumni Association events around the world were CAS alumni (up 11% over the previous year).
  • AppendixGrowing Our Capacity: The Campaign for CAS
    BU is in the midst of our first-ever capital campaign, and CAS is well ahead in its progress toward our original goal of raising $100 million. More than 4,300 alumni and many other friends of CAS contributed during the past fiscal year. By the end of the 2014 fiscal year, CAS had received $83.2 million in gift funds through the campaign.
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