Dean Bachas College of Arts and Sciences at the University of MiamiJanuary 16, 2018

Dear A&S Colleagues:

Happy New Year and welcome back!  I hope you all took some time off to enjoy the holiday season with your families and friends.

As we begin the Spring 2018 semester, I look back with profound gratitude and appreciation to all the hard work, commitment, and leadership you have demonstrated throughout the fall semester.  We did encounter challenges with Hurricane Irma, from which we emerged stronger and more devoted than ever to demonstrate how resilient we are.  Although the hurricane brought some disruptions to our operations, the College seized the occasion and provided funding opportunities for our faculty to address the effects that this catastrophic event had on our community.  I am proud to report that we have funded fourteen strong proposals across many of our disciplines.

In this brief message, I also want to update you on a few past and future activities.  In the fall, twenty-six new faculty members joined the College.  I know they are all eager to establish new partnerships with colleagues within and outside their departments.  I am delighted that several of our faculty have organized thrilling exhibitions on campus, in the community, and abroad.  I encourage you to visit the Lowe Art Museum and our Wynwood Gallery to support our exhibitions and presentations, and attend performances at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, where our students and faculty showcase their talents.

On February 2nd, I am inviting all College faculty to come together to discuss priorities and formulate our strategic plan for the next five years.  You all know that three workgroups composed of faculty members, students and staff have been hard at work during the fall semester to brainstorm on the following: (1) Re-imagining the College, (2) Investing in People, and (3) Reaching Beyond Coral Gables.  In a future email, I will share with you the key points of the workgroups’ activities, which will be the focus of our discussion.  I look forward to your participation in this collaborative effort to chart the next chapter of our College.  A website will be created to invite your active comments and suggestions prior to the meeting of Friday, February 2nd from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Lastly, from February 27th to March 1st, the SACSCOC Visiting Committee will be on campus, as part of their decennial re-accreditation review. I count on your assistance as we go through this phase of the process and thank you for your support thus far.

As we work together in an inclusive and collaborative environment with the mission to transform and guide the College toward pedagogical innovation, impactful research, and scholarly growth, I remain confident that the Spring 2018 semester will be a prosperous one for us all.

Thank you for all that you do for the College and the University,

Leonidas G. Bachas‌