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December Message from Dean Robbins

Hollis Robbins

Hollis Robbins - Dean, College of Humanities

We have accomplished a great deal in Fall 2022! As we head toward the holidays and a second appearance in the Rose Bowl (yay!), I want to note and celebrate a few items.

We’ve added several excellent new members to the College of Humanities Dean’s office team, including Karen Marsh, Director of Student Success and Engagement, who will lead initiatives to provide staff, departments, and the advising team with new tools to ensure we have successful and engaged students; Cameron Vakilian, Director of Advising, Outreach, and Experiential Learning; and Missy Weeks, Marketing Specialist for the Tanner Humanities Center.

Congratulations to the Tanner Humanities Center on an extraordinary Fall lineup of successful talks by Thi Nguyen, Azar Nafisi, Joy Harjo, and Heather McGhee. We look forward to a vibrant Spring lineup and the vital role the Center plays in celebrating and promoting the intellectual life of our College.

Our new Great Books program is making its way through the College curriculum approval process and we are expecting it to launch in Fall 2023, featuring outstanding faculty including Professors Scott Black, Erin Beeghly, Rachel Mason Dentinger, and more! This spring we will begin coordinating the Great Science Books program, which we expect will be of interest to Humanities and STEM students alike.

We will be making exciting new hires in Computational Linguistics, Indigenous Communication, Journalism: Race and Community, Digital Journalism, and Video Game Narratives.

We’ve launched new collaborations across campus to develop an Applied Clinical Ethicist program and will be seeking to expand our Medical Humanities minor to a major, and to organize a conference on medical ethics and psychedelics.

We’re also looking to revitalize our Middle East Center, fully fund our Religious Studies and Mormon Studies programs, and to seek an endowed chair in Classical Civilization.

We’ve partnered with Career Services in the Business School to embed two new career coaches in the College of Humanities to pilot a program to help launch our graduates into successful careers.

We were delighted to meet with the elected ASUU students representing the College of Humanities to identify new ways to support and amplify each other.

Our new visual element is already turning heads and has been embraced by departments, programs, faculty, and students. Thank you to our Graphic Designer Kayli Timmerman.

We are celebrating our excellence: our website features new and detailed faculty profiles as well as program and event news every week!  Coupled with our vibrant social media presence we’ve expanded our reach to include even more communities nearby and globally.

Our goals remain to increase our majors, support and launch our graduate and undergraduate students, launch new research opportunities and funding for students and faculty, raise our national and international profile, and distinguish ourselves as doing cutting edge Humanities research.

I know that students who choose Humanities majors have chosen the very best path to fulfillment, leadership, and a lifetime of engagement with the fundamental questions of our experience on this planet. I have been impressed with the powerful student energy I’ve seen this semester – students exploring history, the stories we tell, our ways of communicating, our deep thoughts and ways of knowing. Humanities students are our future leaders, chroniclers and knowledge-makers. We trust in them and will provide them with the tools they will need to succeed.

Happy Holidays!

Hollis Robbins
Dean, College of Humanities
University of Utah

Jana Cunningham, University of Utah College of Humanities | 801-213-0866

Published December 20, 2022

Last Updated: 1/3/23