Dear FASC Colleagues and Staff,

Welcome to the start of an exciting new academic year. I hope your semester is off to a great start. As a historian, I know that change is constant. With your help and continued dedication, FASC will sustain its positive momentum for doing the work that changes the lives of our students and graduates for the better, as well as the entire region. I wanted to share a few news items with you as we launch into AY2014. 

In case you missed it, Washington Monthly ranked Rutgers University—Camden as the “Best Bang for Your Buck” among all NJ colleges and universities, ranked our campus 18th among all higher education institutions in the U.S., and 7th among all M.A. granting colleges. http://tinyurl.com/qg9jwq8  

Of course you already knew what a great value RU-C provides, but Washington Monthly’s recognition is a highly visible tribute to your hard work. It is also in line with the new priorities for higher education President Obama announced 2 weeks ago. The president’s ideas have the potential to change the conversation about the value of a college education. If you are interested in learning more about my thoughts on the topic, see the editorial I wrote in support of the president’s policy speeches. There is still much to be cautious about, but I am convinced that this takes the discussion in the right direction in ways that will reward FASC where access, opportunity, and quality are the highest priorities. http://tinyurl.com/k8s856t

The new FASC Office of Web, New Media and Design is on call to help departments and faculty get the word out about our success. http://fas.camden.rutgers.edu/web-office/ Congratulations to Julie Strasser Roncinske and Jennifer Pope for a much improved FASC website and other digital media connections. 

Speaking of renewal, FASC is pleased to welcome 20 new faculty members this fall. Some of these talented individuals were already teaching part-time for FASC. Others are new to our ranks. It is an honor to have such a distinguished group joining us. Please do all you can to make the new faculty feel welcome. You can see their pictures and read details about their work on the FASC website: http://fas.camden.rutgers.edu/faculty-research/new-faculty-2013-2014/

Congratulations are also due for the faculty that earned tenure and/or promotion as of July 1, 2013:

  • Holly Blackford, Professor I, English
  • Kenneth Elliott, tenure and Associate Professor, Fine Arts
  • Christopher Fitter, Professor I, English
  • Ellen Ledoux, tenure and Associate Professor, English
  • Desmond Lun, earned tenure as an Associate Professor, Computer Science
  • Naomi Marmorstein, Professor I, Psychology
  • John Smith, tenure and Associate Professor, Economics
  • LiQin Tan, Professor I, Fine Arts

The FASC faculty was very successful in AY2013 in efforts to earn outside funding. The campus applied for $20m in grants and won more than $10m. This is significant evidence of strong progress in the area of research for FASC and the entire campus. In addition to grants, FASC faculty presented research and engaged in original creative work at conferences, exhibitions, theater and music productions, and through book and journal publications in higher numbers than ever before. Such visibility is essential for continuing to raise the campus research profile.

Looking to the future, please help us spread the word about the 9 new FACS faculty searches for AY2014. http://tinyurl.com/kg4lqmb  By next fall, over 1/4th of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in FASC will be new since my arrival in July 2011 as dean. That is astonishing.

As you know, last year’s search for a founding Director for the new Digital Studies Center was not successful. We had 2 very strong candidates, but both received attractive retention offers at their current campuses. The search process last year helped us clearly define the work for the new DSC and I am confident that we will find a perfect candidate. Dr. Robert Emmons has been named Associate Director for the DSC. He will help with this year’s search and preside over the opening of the new center in Spring, 2014. You’ll hear lots more about the DSC in the coming months. Be sure to join us for the inaugural Digital Studies Lecture featuring a presentation by Dr. Joan Neubauer on Monday, September 30 at 7:00 pm.  More information I strongly believe that the DSC will enhance all the programs in FASC and offer our students the opportunity to learn useful digital technology skills in all disciplines.

Many of you are probably curious about our AY2014 enrollment. This fall is almost identical to last year. That is very good at a time when many arts and sciences colleges have declining enrollments.  This year we will concentrate on retaining more of our current students so that the overall enrollment for this year is higher than last. As part of this effort, Danyelle Thurman was named the first Director for the FASC Advising Office. We also welcomed 2 new Assistant Dean III Advisors for that office, Matthew Kaulius and Jason Pelosi to join Francis Clark and Jennifer Thiel. In addition, Laura Goins Collins was named the new Assistant Dean III for Advising the Honors College and Krista Whelen has moved from the advising office to the Honors College. It is important for all of us to encourage students to visit these professional advisors at least once each semester.  This step, along with mentoring by faculty within the academic departments will help us to retain more of our students and lead them to graduation.

There are many other topics I could talk about in this welcome letter. Instead, I promise to send new updates throughout the semester.  In the meantime, best wishes for the new academic year.

As always, Proudly FASC, Rutgers University—Camden
Kris

Dr. Kriste Lindenmeyer, Dean
Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University College,
And the Graduate School
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Rutgers—Camden
311 North 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1405
phone: 856-225-6097
fax: 856-225-6603