3. The College of Letters & Sciences is More Appreciated than We Realize

As the new leader of the college on campus that constantly seems to be going through an identity crisis, one my goals was to “sell” the college to anyone that would listen. We are diverse in subject matter and thus hard to define. Identifying a clear “brand” sometimes seems impossible so we often feel unnoticed and underappreciated. My plan was to promote the virtues of our college- the general education service we do for the university; what we do for freshmen students and the impressive retention rate that we’ve seen in recent years; the outstanding reputation our majors have and the great things our graduates are doing. Guess what? So far I’m witnessing many others do that for me. I’m hearing other Deans and Directors of programs outside our college talk to incoming freshman about the importance of General Education and LEAP (Liberal Education America’s Promise). I’m hearing students that are pursuing majors in other colleges tell me how much they appreciated and enjoyed that freshman-level course that they took from one of our instructors. I’m hearing our alums tell me that they realize now that their upward mobility in their careers is in part due to the broad liberal arts training they received early in their time here at UW-Whitewater. They developed good oral communication and writing skills, good critical thinking skills, and an appreciation and ability to work effectively with diverse groups, and their employers have noticed it! This past fall I witnessed the Chancellor at his State of the University Address dominantly highlight activities occurring in our college through examples and videos of “success” at UW-Whitewater. I see the Marketing Media & Relations office write story after story about the success of our faculty and our students. We ARE being noticed. I still won’t give up my pursuit of getting the recognition we deserve but it sure is nice to see others making my job that much easier.

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