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College of Liberal Arts E-News: Biweekly news from the College of Liberal Arts

Dean's Message: Welcome to the New Academic Year!

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Dear Colleagues,
Welcome to the start of the 2011-12 academic year! This is always an exciting and reinvigorating time as we welcome new colleagues and students to our departments and the college and meet with our classes for the first time.
Let me bring you up to date on CLA news.

Meetings with President Kaler
This academic year marks the beginning of new leadership for the University. President Kaler has an infectious optimism about the future of the University, and he is very eager to meet with as many members of our community as possible and to learn about the strengths of CLA and what makes us excellent and distinctive.
• This week, he met with the CLA leadership group--department chairs, center directors, college governance leaders, CLA administrative leaders--and shared with us his vision for building the academic excellence of the University.
• As your schedule allows, I urge you to attend President Kaler's inauguration on September 22 to meet him and listen to his opening address.

Class of 2015
Last week we welcomed an extraordinarily well-prepared class of 2,600 first-year undergraduate students. More than 200 CLA students, staff and faculty played key roles last Thursday on College Day, welcoming them to CLA. Many thanks to all for helping students finalize their academic programs, giving them a taste of the diversity of our college through mini-seminars, and for making the day a memorable orientation for our new students.

CLA Makes U of M History with Biggest Scholarship Gift Ever
This summer the college received its largest scholarship gift not only in its own history, but in the history of the University of Minnesota: $14 million from the estate of Myrtle Stroud, a long-time resident of Windom, Minnesota. This magnificent legacy will enable us to increase substantially the number of scholarships we can offer to high ability students with financial need. This gift will further help us advance access to CLA and help our students graduate on time.

Folwell Celebration
The re-opening celebration of the renovated Folwell Hall--a day that was 10 years in the making--will take place this Friday. Please join the festivities for refreshments, tours, and lawn games. We'll be joined by President Kaler, members of the Board of Regents, legislators, and other dignitaries.

Pres. Kaler: New Funding Allocations
We were delighted by Wednesday's announcement that President Kaler's plan for spending the additional funds that the governor restored to the University's budget this summer ($25 million) includes tuition mitigation for U-Promise students, increased support for undergraduate research and for graduate student doctoral dissertations, and resources to restore about 10 faculty lines to CLA that we had lost the ability to fill.

CLA and the Search for a Provost
In the next two weeks, we will have the opportunity to meet and comment on public presentations of the finalists in the provost search. CLA was well represented on the provost search committee: Regina Kunzel (Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies), Judith Martin (Geography), and I served on the committee. We are very pleased that such a strong pool of finalists has been identified.

Moving Toward CLA 2015
In this year's State of the College address I will talk about collegiate priorities for the 2011-12 academic year and how we will implement the CLA 2015 plan. We will also introduce the faculty who have joined our college this fall. As we know, much thought and effort was invested last year in charting a path for renewal, collaboration and partnership. Now it is time to begin to move forward. Please join us at the opening meeting of the CLA Assembly on Tuesday, 27 September from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center, West Bank campus.

Enjoy the wonderful weather of these last summer days, and best wishes for a successful start of term,

--Jim Parente

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