Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Dear Students, Faculty, Alumni, Parents, and Friends of SLA,
It’s hard to believe that the semester is almost over and the holidays are nearly upon us. At this time of year, in the School of Liberal Arts, the pace becomes rather frantic. Students crowd into the library anxious to complete long-ago assigned research projects and cram for upcoming exams. Faculty puzzle over how they are going to reach the end of their syllabi and hope that the students have come away with a new appreciation for their studies. With winter break only days away, freshmen begin to anticipate returning home in search of the sleep they have missed in the last four months while seniors wonder how three and a half years have flown by so quickly and ponder what the future will bring.
For the faculty of SLA, this semester has been an exciting time. We welcomed 33 new professors of practice, visiting professors, postdoctoral fellows and tenure-track faculty to our midst. They brought with them an enthusiasm for teaching, an expertise in research, and the continued look of astonishment and surprise about life in New Orleans. We marked the 100th anniversary of the Newcomb Music Department with a week-long celebration that filled Dixon Hall with jazz, classical music, faculty-created pieces, as well as the sounds of the marching band, orchestra, and choir. We were graced with superb exhibitions in the Newcomb and Carroll Galleries and outstanding lectures by internationally recognized scholars, artists, and politicians. We completed a new strategic plan that charted the future for SLA for the next five years. With our new web site and the monthly newsletter, we were able to define who we are and what we hoped to be.
As the semester draws to a close, we are about to host our second annual faculty showcase reception. On December 8th, the members of SLA will applaud those faculty whose published books and artistic creations have placed them at the pinnacle of their fields. Hosted by Scott and Marjorie Cowen, the event allows us to recognize the truly outstanding achievements of our scholars and artists and to acknowledge the incredible range of interests and expertise that define our school. As a time for the faculty and staff of SLA to come together and to celebrate the accomplishments of our colleagues, it is, indeed, one of the highlights of our year.
On a personal note, let me say that I continue to be delighted to be part of Tulane and to meet those who are dedicated to the university and to the School of Liberal Arts. From alumni who share their experiences of days past and goals fulfilled, to parents who nervously push their young out of the nest and proudly watch them fly, to faculty who are dedicated to world-class education and research, and to the students who find that Tulane offers all they had hoped and, in the process, find themselves, I could think of no more fulfilling role than dean of this incredible school. I thank you all for making it possible and wish you the best in the new year.
Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, (504) 865-5225, firstname.lastname@example.org