Feb. 26 marked the fourth visit of a candidate for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Judith Grant, who holds a Ph. D. from Rutgers University, held an open forum for faculty and students
Grant did not hesitate to lay out her vision for the future of the College in a presentation which discussed the challenges currently faced by A&S, and the potential solutions she sees.
“My desire to be dean comes out of my passion for the liberal arts,” said Grant in her brief introduction, setting the tone for the forum.
She went on to talk about the strategic problems she sees in the College, and was unafraid to point out the flaws with the current status quo in A&S. She claimed a need for a “strategic vision and brand” for A&S, which she says will help raise money and bring in faculty and students.
One of the biggest problems she addressed was the current budgetary situation, citing it as the root source of issues such as bringing in faculty, encouraging research and building strong graduate programs which can compete with other ACC schools. Grant said her priority was to ensure that students and faculty can “do what they want to do” at the university.
The majority of the program was devoted to a question and answer section.
“What is your take on where advising fits?” asked one adviser, prompting a discussion on the role of advising in retention. Grant discussed the importance of having advisers who can offer students direction in their future, and said that changes in advising may be a solution to the retention issues currently faced by U of L. She came in well-versed on U of L, mentioning her awareness of the university’s issues with retaining second and third year students.
The question and answer session ended up being more of a discussion between the faculty and Grant. At one point, she asked a faculty member, “Do you have any ideas,” encouraging the audience to share their own vision for the College with her. She had earlier cited this very “collaborative ability” as one of the reasons she would be a good dean.
Grant is the current Chair of the Department of Political Science at Ohio University, where she has been a professor since 2003.
A guide to the A&S dean candidates can be found online at Louisvillecardinal.com
Photo by Jacob Abrahamson / The Louisville Cardinal.