September 4, 2018
Call and Response
Dear Colleagues,

At the State of the School address , I offered that as a community A&S is involved in a sometimes scripted, sometimes improvisational “call and response.” An example might be the call for departmental Career Profiles for tenure stream faculty, which came first from our Faculty Handbook, later from an ad hoc committee on promotion, and to which we have now all responded. For “call and response” leadership, identifying the first call is hardly the point; whatever the source, the invitation is clear. When caught up in the flow of “call and response,” individuals become a community, and through the strength of community, each person finds support and a space to thrive.

Through an engaged community and responsive leadership, we are making progress toward our Concept 30 goals. This fall, the Task Force on Shared Governance will continue to suggest structures for how faculty and staff can contribute to making our community stronger. They will ask for your support and, by December, we will vote on shared governance bylaws for faculty and staff.

Sometimes, the call will come from the community, sometimes from leadership. I have asked that we study our Merit Review process, and we have formed a committee to offer a path forward for an improved system. We will also study our classroom evaluation instrument this year. Let’s listen for engaged responses.

As we continue to forge ahead on building a stronger, more diverse community within A&S, below are three other collective calls to action.

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Thriving
The goals of Community and Conscience identified in Concept 30 need dedicated time and attention, and I am excited to announce that A&S will have its first Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Thriving. Please engage with the Assistant Dean, on my behalf, on how we might attain our objectives in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion for faculty, staff, and students.

Recognizing and Celebrating Excellence
Independent of our merit review process, I have asked faculty and staff to consider how best to reward and recognize excellent teaching, research and artistic production, and faculty and staff contributions to A&S’ goals. I would like to gather suggestions on awards (such as divisional teaching awards and staff service awards) for outstanding contributions in teaching, research, and service by December.

Themed Year Programming
For the first time during 2018-19, A&S will offer programming and events built around a common theme. Our theme for the year is “ Contested Spaces: Race, Nation, and Conflict ,” which invites conversations centered around ethnic, racial, and cultural conflicts in Virginia, the United States, and across the globe. I invite you to participate in any of the planned events, or to work with our office to plan your own.

“Call and Response” starts with our community in A&S. What makes A&S strong, at UR and beyond, is that our true calling is educating and supporting our students to lead “lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership.” Thank you for engaging in the call and response. Let’s continue to build our community together, and let’s have some fun doing so this year.
 
Thank you,
Patrice Rankine
Dean, School of Arts & Sciences
Mark Your Calendars

Sept. 7
Sabbatical applications due

Sept. 13

Sept. 20, 4-5 p.m.
Brown-Alley Room
Faculty Meeting

Oct. 1
T&P portfolios due to committee

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Tucker-Boatwright Festival: Beyond Exoticism

This year's Tucker-Boatwright Festival, hosted by the Department of Music, explores expression across difference and recognizes the ethical ambiguity and aesthetic complexity this entails.

Highlights include three on-campus performances by the Richmond Symphony.

All events are free for faculty, staff, and students; visit the website to view the full schedule of performances, lectures, and films.
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Humanities Fellows Program:
Spring and Summer 2019

The Humanities Fellows program is now accepting student applications for spring/summer 2019. New this year, students will take the course in the spring, in preparation to conduct research in the summer, and the course is only open to current sophomore students.

Please encourage students who you think would be a good fit to learn more and apply online.
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Summer Faculty Highlights
Biology professor Angie Hilliker received an National Institutes of Health grant for research on production of proteins.
Political science professor Tracy Roof is the 2018 recipient the Robert & Elizabeth Dole Archives and Special Collections Fellowship. Research Fellowship.
Themed Year Programming
In 2018-19, “Contested Spaces” will focus on “Race, Nation, and Conflict,” inviting conversations centered around conflict resulting from ethnic, racial, and cultural differences—in Virginia, the United States, and across the globe.

We invite you to learn more about the events that have been planned , and to join the conversation.

Feature Stories
SMART class rallies around faculty member
After biology professor Shannon Jones' dog passed away in January, her students worked together to find her a new puppy.

Arc of Racial Justice


16 faculty members, committed to racial justice in their scholarship and teaching, gathered for a week of workshops and conversation.


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