A welcome from Dean Patton
Any way you look at it, the College of LAS is an amazing place.
I’ll begin by sharing a few numbers. Formed in 1913, LAS has been central to the academic mission of the University of Illinois for 107 years. We are the largest college on campus, with more than 14,800 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 600 faculty, and more than 176,000 alumni including seven Nobel laureates and nine Pulitzer Prize winners. We offer students more than 70 undergraduate majors, including almost half of the 30 most popular on campus. Our faculty members and instructors teach almost 1,500 unique classes each semester, and 99.6 percent of all U of I students take a class in LAS before they graduate.
This is just a glimpse of the college’s breadth and impact, but the liberal arts and sciences, together, are greater than the sum of their parts.
For more than a century, the College of LAS has offered students the opportunity to gain a broad perspective in addition to learning critical skills. Employers report increasing demand for liberal arts and sciences graduates, and for good reason. The College of LAS is creating citizens who are prepared to do more than execute a specific job; our students are graduating as conscientious and intellectually versatile individuals with strong foundations that prepare them for jobs that may not even yet exist. According to the latest reports, 90 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients from LAS secured a first destination (employment, continued education, or volunteer/service) within six months of graduation.
The College of LAS is where new ideas, different perspectives, and solutions for society’s most complex problems take shape.
They take place through hard work in our classrooms and libraries, through devoted research in our laboratories—roughly $75 million grant expenditures for LAS faculty research occurred in 2018-19—and through a firm commitment to diversity and inclusion. Not only is the College of LAS home to many campus units focused on race, ethnicity, and gender, but it is one of the most diverse colleges on campus. Some 23 percent of our students are first-generation, and 21 percent of our undergraduates are from underrepresented populations. We are also a campus leader in terms of outreach to our surrounding communities, with many faculty, staff, and students involved in hands-on endeavors to share our knowledge and efforts in a way that makes a direct and positive impact on our neighbors. Indeed, the College of LAS is where cultures, ideas, and people of all backgrounds come together to make our future a much brighter place.
Venetria K. Patton
Harry E. Preble Dean of the
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences