LAS Strategic Plan 2021-2025

A Message from Dean Robinson

Interim dean June 2020 through July 2021

Dean Gene RobinsonWhen we began work on this strategic plan in May 2019, we could not have imagined what would transpire in the ensuing months: pandemic, economic disaster, a reckoning of race and social justice in America, a highly unconventional election, and a hybrid teaching model on our campus.

Our college, like the rest of campus, has been focused on making the constant adjustments needed to carry on our work while ensuring the safety of our community. In fact, our great faculty, staff, and students were at, and continue to be at, the forefront of many of these efforts.

Despite this, we never stopped planning. We couldn’t; the liberal arts and sciences are too important. Our college plays a fundamental role in the success of our campus. Nearly every undergraduate student takes one of our courses. Our faculty and graduate students drive research in labs and libraries across campus. Our alumni go into the world and make a difference that is simply immeasurable. We believe an ambitious plan for the future and a strategy for implementing it are more important now than ever. While we’re facing unprecedented changes that this plan cannot fully anticipate, we believe it can help us maintain our focus as we navigate our way forward. With this strategic plan, we set a course for the college for the next five years.

The liberal arts and sciences are the foundation for developing well-rounded individuals who contribute to society in meaningful ways. We are known for the intellectual breadth and depth we offer students in our college and students from all corners of campus. In LAS, our students learn cultural competence, teamwork and leadership, and habits of mind that allow for continuous learning and success across a lifetime. For over 100 years, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has been the heart of our university. Our college must continue to lead the way.

Work on this plan began under the direction of former Dean Feng Sheng Hu, was nurtured and shaped by our college leadership team, and was brought to life by ideas from administrative leaders, faculty, staff, and students from all areas of LAS. I am pleased to present this plan on behalf of the college.

I am confident that this plan will lead us forward as a college. We are facing many challenges created by the pandemic. This plan will guide us as we meet those challenges and push into new and important areas of research, teaching, and outreach. By identifying clear goals and objectives, this plan will guide us as we adapt to what lies ahead and enable us to shape the future of our campus. We likely cannot imagine all that the next five years will bring, but we will make sure the liberal arts and sciences continue to contribute to our society in life-changing ways.

With great optimism for the future,

Gene E. Robinson
Interim Dean
Swanlund Chair in Entomology


Learn about the strategic plan


College strategic goals

The following goals will structure our long-term activities and guide daily decision-making to meet the mission and vision of a 21st century liberal arts and sciences college.

A person completes research in a campus lab
Excel in Research and Creative Activity
We will foster our core strengths in creative activities and research across the college through strategic investments that enhance excellence.
Students listen to a lecture at Spurlock Museum
Re-Design the Student Experience for Today's World
We aspire to provide all students with world class experiences through stellar advising, enhanced curricular creativity, and transformative learning experiences.
A student meets with a professor
Foster Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We commit to promote the access and inclusion of underrepresented faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students in research, creative and instructional activity, and education.
Alma Mater
Support the People of the College, and Strengthen Its Resource Base, Visibility, and Impact
We affirm that people are the core of our college and will support faculty and staff as well as maintain, build, and use college resources in a transparent and meaningful way.