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January 2024

Dear colleagues,

I hope the spring semester is off to a good start for you.  The second semester always commences with a bang, there is no grace period after the quietness (and freeze) of January.  I love seeing everybody back on campus, the buzz in the hallways and classrooms, the frantic preparation for the first class meetings.  Even the Library Café is open again when a caffeine boost is needed!  Reach out to your dean’s office if there is anything we can do to support your work.

While J-Term was quiet here on campus, I’ve heard stories about the many adventures January had in stock.  I’ve seen pictures of your J-Term travel seminars (check some of them out below!) and look forward to finding out more about them.  There is also no time to rest for faculty and students in the Fine Arts.  The Art & Design Department opens their faculty show this week, while the Music Department is getting ready for their annual opera production on February 17 and 18.  Secure your tickets for Die Fledermaus now, it’s going to be amazing!  It’s also that time of the year when we build summer and fall schedules.  Changes to the Drake Curriculum approved by Faculty Senate will impact our course offerings for new incoming students.  If you get any questions from continuing students about the changes, please reassure them that their current plan of study is still valid—no adjustments are necessary.  If they have questions, please encourage them to reach out to their dean’s office and advising specialists.

I am thrilled to announce another call for applications for our A&S Faculty Development Grants and Faculty Travel Awards.  We have funds left to support research and development activities taking place yet this fiscal year.  We will be able to support reimbursable non-personnel costs—the same rules apply as in the previous round.  Submit your application before the March 1 deadline!

Please read on for additional deadlines and advising reminders.  We have an all-faculty meeting coming up on February 16th to connect about curricular and program changes.  The recruitment cycle is entering its second phase as we aim to turn admitted students into committed Bulldogs.  We know that our best chance at that is when we get prospective students to visit campus and meet with faculty, staff and current students.  Anything you do to make their visit an exciting and engaging campus experience will greatly increase our yield of students.  Thank you for all the work you do recruiting our next class of first year and transfer students!

Please note that my next open office hours are on February 6 from 3-4 PM at Cowles Library Cafe.  Stop by if you want to chat.  If that time doesn’t work for you, please reach out to schedule another time to meet. I look forward to hearing from you.

Good luck with your classes this week!



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