Spring 2011 Message from the Dean

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

Dean Carl Strikwerda

Welcome back to another busy semester at William and Mary. I trust that you all had a good break. I want to recognize some of our colleagues and update you on several items. Among those faculty deserving special recognition are:

Coco Faculty Fellows and Dean’s Distinguished Lecturers for 2010-11:

  • Greg Hancock, Geology
  • Sophia Serghi, Music

Weingartner Professor of International Studies for 2011-13:

  • Paula Pickering, Government and Russian and Post-Soviet Studies

Arts and Sciences Faculty Governance Awards for 2011:

  • Katherine Kulick, Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Barbette Spaeth, Classical Studies

We will recognize Profs. Kulick and Spaeth at a reception following the Faculty of Arts and Sciences meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the Andrews Hall lobby. All A&S faculty and staff are invited to the reception. Please come!

Faculty hiring has been progressing rapidly. I very much appreciate all the staff and faculty time that these searches take. At this point, we have hired new tenure-eligible faculty for 2011-12 in English, Government, Music, Philosophy, and Sociology. We have several other offers out, and we hope to hire as many as 19 more faculty by the end of the spring. All of the searches have had very large pools of strong candidates, and the quality of those we have hired thus far is excellent.

Communications and Development: Along with Steve Otto and Andrew Barry, I want to thank everyone in departments and programs who has worked on improving our communications and development efforts—activities including organizing alumni Homecoming receptions, refreshing websites, writing and sending out messages to alumni of your department or program, meeting with alumni, or providing Andrew’s office with information on your program for the Development Office’s work or working with Development in other ways. These efforts are important in moving Arts & Sciences forward.

Intense Learning: All of our efforts are ultimately focused on enriching the learning environment for our students. What I have been particularly gratified at seeing this academic year is the way in which faculty and staff promote what I would call “intense learning.” Many students tell me that what they find most exciting about William and Mary are the experiences which bring them into the process of discovery and creativity and extend the scope of their learning into new areas. Among these experiences are the group projects which faculty set up for students in their classes, the internship and service-learning opportunities attached to many classes and fostered by the Office of Community Engagement and Scholarship, and the myriad ways in which undergraduate and graduate students work with faculty in laboratories, survey research, and other scholarly venues for research. Last October, Joel Schwartz and the Charles Center, in collaboration with two national organizations, the Council on Undergraduate Research and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, sponsored a conference on campus on “Creating a Climate of Research on Campus.” Attendees from across the country all commented on the excellence of our faculty’s commitment to student research. (William and Mary faculty speaking at the conference were Francie Cate-Arries, Larry Evans, Mark Forsyth, Amy Oakes, and Dennis Smith.) What these faculty from other campuses praised is what many of you promote as an integral part of your commitment to student learning. Thank you for what you do. Our students are grateful. The College will continue to try to find the resources and support to do this even more effectively.

Best wishes for a productive semester.

Carl J. Strikwerda
Dean of Arts and Sciences
The College of William and Mary