CAS is a major contributor to the international character of Boston University. Each year, hundreds of CAS undergraduates participate in study abroad programs, faculty members are engaged in overseas research, and new international collaborative partnerships are formed. The 2014–15 academic year was exceptionally progressive, being the inaugural year for the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. The School, which now houses the former international relations department as well as our various area studies programs and centers, has made great strides in deepening CAS’ commitment to language learning, international and area studies, global engagement, and study abroad.

CAS faculty, staff, students, and friends gather at the Frederick S. Pardee School at 121 Bay State Road.

The Pardee School has also made advances in area studies by introducing a new Asian Studies major that will encompass South and Southeast Asia, replacing the former East Asian Studies major. The Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (CURA), a research center creating world-class scholarship on religion and global issues, also officially became an affiliated center of the Pardee School and its Division of Regional and Thematic Studies. CURA will strengthen the Pardee School’s offerings on world religions through collaborations and programming, such as the conference, “Youth in the Muslim World,” that was hosted by the Pardee School this past April.

The Pardee School is introducing innovations to the student experience as well. One of the most notable experiences the Pardee School offered its students was a weeklong trip to Cuba as part of the course Experiencing Cuba: History, Culture, and Politics. Thirteen students learned about the island’s history through lectures, guided tours, and a visit with US diplomats, as well as through immersing themselves in Cuban culture. The trip took place before the US lifted travel restrictions to the island, giving students an inside glimpse of a society on the brink of major change.

Other undergraduates were able to engage with and learn about the world right from their classroom. Students in IR 501, Conflict and Cooperation in Asia, partnered with a class in comparative politics at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh, for a semester-long digital exchange program focusing on human rights and political and economic issues in Bangladesh. Additionally, the Pardee School offered its first massive open online course (MOOC), War for the Greater Middle East, which taught more than 10,000 students about recent US military history and its connection to conflict in the Middle East.

Outside of the Pardee School, CAS’ globally oriented programs are making advances and establishing important new connections. This year, the BU Center for Remote Sensing established a two-year collaboration with the Republic of Chad to locate groundwater in arid areas of the African country.

At a time when many universities are cutting back on teaching and research in foreign languages, CAS is adding lesser-taught dialects to our curriculum. This past year, the African Studies Center grew its robust African language program by adding Twi, the spoken language of Ghana. Since the 1970s, students have been afforded the chance to study Zulu, Xhosa, Wolof, Hausa, and other African languages. The program also received a $2.3 million grant from the US Department of Education to offer fellowships for students and support Africa-focused education, particularly African language instruction. By receiving this funding, the African Studies Center remains a Title VI program—a goal specifically stated in the CAS Strategic Plan.

CAS is also making huge strides in incorporating technology into language learning. This past year, the Geddes Language Center at CAS piloted a new software platform, Digital Language Lab for Mac, for speaking/listening practice incorporating a wide range of activities with students. Faculty members in 11 languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Italian, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Turkish, and Zulu) were trained on its use. Furthermore, the Geddes Center worked closely with language faculty to design and develop hybrid-online courses in Zulu, Turkish, and Reading Knowledge for German.

Annual Report 2014/2015

  • From the Dean From the Dean
    From recruiting ever-better faculty and students to surging ahead in our capital campaign, academic year 2014/2015 was a year of great accomplishments.
  • A New Era Begins at CAS A New Era Begins at CAS
    On August 1, 2015, CAS welcomed its new dean, Ann Cudd. Dean Cudd brings her own unique energy and vision to CAS and GRS and is deeply committed to enhancing—and affirming—the value of a liberal arts education.
  • Improving Undergraduate Education Improving 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 800 first-year participants.
  • Strengthening Graduate Education Strengthening Graduate Education
    BU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences continues to see a dramatic increase in applicant quality and enrollment due to our new five-year PhD funding model that has heightened the attractiveness of our doctoral programs. New program initiatives have also resulted in more applicants to our master’s programs.
  • Enhancing a World-Class Faculty Enhancing 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 2014/15, CAS hired 26 new professors across the humanities and social, natural, and computational sciences.
  • Conducting Pathbreaking Research Conducting Pathbreaking Research
    Discoveries and innovations at CAS help make BU one of the top 40 research universities in the world. Many fields of study at CAS are also highly ranked, including social sciences, physics, molecular biology and genetics, and psychology.
  • Deepening Our Global Mission Deepening Our Global Mission
    CAS is a major contributor to the international character of Boston University. The 2014–15 academic year was particularly eventful in this respect, being the inaugural year for the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.
  • Creating Our Future: The CAS Strategic Plan at Halftime Creating Our Future: The CAS Strategic Plan at Halftime
    In 2010, the College of Arts & Sciences crafted a bold 10-year plan to enhance all aspects of what we do: advancing undergraduate and graduate education, research, global partnerships, and the College’s relationships with its alumni. Over the past five years, we have made great strides toward these goals.
  • Nurturing Connections with Alumni and Friends Nurturing Connections with Alumni and Friends
    The College continues to develop new opportunities to engage and connect with CAS alumni and friends. In 2014–15, more than 5,000 CAS alumni registered for events hosted by the BU Alumni Association, accounting for 25% of all BU alumni event engagement.
  • Growing Our Capacity and Stewarding Our Resources Growing Our Capacity and Stewarding Our Resources
    BU is in the midst of our first-ever capital campaign. As of June 30th, 2015, CAS has received more than $93,595,000 in gifts from its alumni, parents and friends. Collectively these supporters have made more than 20,000 gifts to the CAS campaign.
  • Appendix Appendix