Beyond the Ordinary

Dean LeeFrom microbes in the depths of the ocean to neutron stars in galaxies far, far away, teaching and research opportunities in the College of Arts and Sciences cultivate curiosity in our students. Outreach and study abroad programs engage our students in the global society that waits for them upon graduation. As students of the liberal arts, they experience the breadth and depth of what an academic career can offer, see that learning put into action, and develop a thirst for knowledge that stays with them for a lifetime.

We work to set ourselves apart and create a student experience that reaches beyond the ordinary. Through out-of-classroom educational experiences such as internships, research opportunities, community service-learning, and study abroad programs, our students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real-world situations. They discover how knowledge is applicable and relevant during their university experience, which provides a foundation for careers and life-long learning.

Our expanding advising staff help our students explore academic, experiential, and career choices. Students receive good advice on possible academic paths based on career assessments and time our advisors spend talking to them about their interests and career goals. Our exploratory program helps students discover all we have to offer in the College of Arts and Sciences and chart their academic careers.

The diversity of academic programs offered at the undergraduate and graduate level sets us apart on campus. In addition, each of our graduate programs is ranked among the top one percent of their peer programs or departments in other four-year schools. Faculty in these departments attract high-quality students from all over the world who want to engage in exciting research and creative endeavors. Graduates of these programs carry the torch for academic excellence to other universities, set the stage for creative expression in their communities, and make an impact as engaged, global citizens.

We continue to build on this foundation of academic excellence in several ways. Online summer education programs provide students with more opportunities to engage in learning and help them finish their degree in a timely manner. Strong Hall, which opened for courses in June 2017, is a state-of-the-art science facility designed for an active and exploratory approach to learning. Leaders at universities across the country are using the design as an example for renovating their own teaching and research facilities. In the coming year, we will open the Mossman Building, which will house faculty from our Departments of Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Psychology.

We remain focused on diversity and are hiring more underrepresented faculty and attracting more out-of-state students. Our faculty members are active in cutting-edge research and creative endeavors, political and social justice issues, and take pride in being a Volunteer. Our students are engaged leaders who are making an impact on campus, in our Knoxville community, and around the world.

Most of our success is possible due to the generosity of our Volunteer family. We launched the Join the Journey campaign with a goal of $100 million to support faculty, students, and strategic opportunities in the College of Arts and Sciences. Thanks to the support of our donors and alumni, each year of the campaign we move closer to our goal. This year, we are on track to raise more than $20 million, which will be the biggest year yet. We hope you continue to join us on our journey to the top and help make an impact in Tennessee, the nation, and the world.

Theresa M. Lee
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences