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A Message from Bruce Blonigen

I’ll be honest. Welcoming everyone back in the fall without physically welcoming all our students back to our beautiful campus is hard. In normal times, we would be meeting face-to-face, in classrooms, in CAS’ new home in Tykeson Hall, at lectures, performances, games, and exhibits, and we would be crossing paths under the glorious autumn trees of the campus arboretum.

But while the beginning of this academic year will look very different, our commitment to educating our students and cultivating the next generation of leaders remains the same. In response to the Movement for Black Lives, we are making it a priority to take action–by launching a Black Studies minor, working closely with the Provost to hire more Black tenure-track faculty, and dedicating CAS Dean’s Diversity Grants this year to addressing systemic discrimination and injustices towards Black people on our campus.  A new Latinx studies minor is also launching this fall, offering an interdisciplinary curriculum that enables students to learn about the diverse histories and contemporary experiences of Latinx communities across the U.S. and in the Pacific Northwest.

Because we want to make sure that our students are well educated, socially responsible, and career ready, we are adding new majors and minors, including data science, neuroscience, climate studies, and criminology among others. Our advisors in Tykeson Hall stand ready to help students achieve their academic and career goals. They’re available for drop-in advising or appointments in person or on Microsoft Teams, so that no matter where a student is learning from, they can talk through their academic plans and get their questions answered.

In the midst of a global pandemic, a social justice movement, and the devastating fires along the west coast, students are also juggling courses, careers, and personal lives. I want to remind you that the University Counseling Center is a resource for students, with services ranging from counseling to general wellness guidance.

This will be a challenging start to the new academic year, and we are going to need to find new ways to support each other and come together at a time when many of us are physically apart. The College of Arts and Sciences faculty, staff, and deans are excited to welcome students back to school—wherever they are—at a time when we all have more to learn than ever.

 

– Bruce Blonigen, Interim Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences

Read more about Bruce Blonigen.