WORDS / THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS
The University of Central Arkansas has established and launched the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS).
The new college brings together the departments of the colleges of Liberal Arts (English; History; Philosophy and Religion; Political Science; Sociology, Criminology, and Anthropology; and Languages, Linguistics, Literatures, and Cultures) and Fine Arts and Communication (Art and Design; Music; Film, Theatre, and Creative Writing; and the School of Communication).
“This exciting collaboration will result in new opportunities for greater student and faculty success, as well as increased administrative efficiencies and long-term sustainability,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Patricia S. Poulter. “Bringing these two highly compatible colleges together will create a more unified approach to the arts and humanities at UCA and will increase opportunities for collaboration between different programs and among students and faculty.”
Plans for the new college were first announced to faculty and staff in October 2019, and the new college became effective July 1, 2020. Tom Williams, who prior to July 1 served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts, has been appointed dean of CAHSS. Gayle Seymour, former associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, now serves as associate dean of CAHSS.
All departments and schools are planned to remain intact, and the leadership of these academic units will continue to work together to ensure a seamless transition for UCA students, faculty and staff.
“It’s not uncommon to see a college comprised of such departments as these,” said Williams. “However, after working with the leadership, faculty and students, I see a unique opportunity to do more than just come together as a college. I see an opportunity to collaborate and challenge ourselves to revitalize what we do in our classrooms and studios and creative production scholarship, to really seize the moment and offer a path forward that highlights the strengths of individual disciplines while linking them together in innovative and useful ways.”
With this change, UCA is now home to five colleges — the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; the College of Business; the College of Education; the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences; and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics — along with the Graduate School and the Schedler Honors College.