Guest column: Democratic initiatives, Clark renovation on horizon for College of Liberal Arts

Rendering of the proposed new Clark Building
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Ben Withers
Benjamin Withers, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Welcome back to our beautiful campus and a new academic year.

After some time off and the slower pace of summer, we are ready in the College of Liberal Arts to get back to our fundamental mission to learn, to conduct research and scholarship, and to engage with our communities. Whether we do that with students and faculty engaging in study abroad, by welcoming Colorado youth to campus in summer programs, or by hosting professional development conferences for our faculty, we are focused on the enduring and essential skills that our liberal arts disciplines provide to campus, community, and the world.

For the past few months, we have taken significant steps in our strategic planning process which includes great things in learning, scholarship, and engagement. To accomplish this, we must have the structures to support success, including people, practices, and facilities, and we must center conversations about the future of working and learning beyond the pandemic. Additionally, we have put our focus on democracy and democratic initiatives in 2023-24, and in the proposal process that moves us along with the Clark Building renovation. In all of this we are focused on aligning our aspirations with our practices so that they are efficient, forward-looking, and reflect our values, goals, and ambitions of collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and inclusivity.

This fall we welcome more than 900 new undergraduate students and 135 new graduate students – a resounding demonstration that people continue to see the value of understanding and exploring the human experience by studying in the liberal arts. I encourage those students to visit our Choose Your Path website, where they can learn about the variety of opportunities to make the most of their experience in their major and at CSU.

I look forward to seeing you all again. It will be good to be with one another in person and to move ahead on our mission.

Benjamin C. Withers
Dean of the College of Liberal Arts