Welcome to—and back to—campus! I hope that you had a good summer and that you’re ready to jump in and get started on your work and studies. There’s a lot happening this year to be excited about.
The LSA Opportunity Hub is celebrating its second year of programming. To meet the growing needs of the LSA Opportunity Hub, the LSA Building will be going through significant renovation and expansion this year, with a construction kickoff in October.
If it’s still new to you, you should know that the LSA Opportunity Hub offers critical support to liberal arts and sciences students on how to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to their goals and aspirations. We invite you to visit the Hub in the LSA Building or online at lsa.umich.edu/opportunityhub.
LSA also continues this year into the next phase of its Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These efforts are part of our long-standing commitment to being a campus that celebrates community, values identity, and rejects hate. Some of our recent accomplishments and efforts include:
- The appointment of Fiona Lee, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and a professor of psychology, as the college’s first Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Professional Development.
- The start of the LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which identifies and prepares outstanding scholars with demonstrated commitments to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Applications for fellowships beginning next year are due by Monday, October 2.
- The establishment of the LSA Democracy in Action Fund, which provides grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 to support students, faculty, and staff advancing genuine democratic engagement on campus. Early projects include a panel on student-driven change and a podcast on diversity.
- Dramatically expanded support for LSA’s Comprehensive Studies Program, including more than $100,000 for academic coaching, scholarship support, and experiential learning, as well as free Kaplan test preparation services for 100 students.
- An expansion to LSA’s highly successful laptop loan program. By mid-September, the program will have loaned out over 700 laptops to qualifying students.
- Increased support and recruitment efforts for transfer students including funding for the Warrior Scholars Project, a week-long program for veterans and soon-to-be veterans as they apply to competitive universities such as U-M.
This year, incoming students were also invited to participate in the first ever Digital Citizenship online course over the summer, which worked to better prepare them for the challenges of a hyperconnected world. The new summer program covered topics such as trolling, privacy, and personal accountability.
To our faculty, I want to reiterate our support for your right to speak freely and to share your knowledge and expertise. The scholarship done at LSA changes minds and improves the world, and the University of Michigan and LSA fully support you in sharing your perspective and research.
Our knowledge contributes to a global exchange of ideas that is vital to our intellectual health and collective progress. As an institution of higher education, we have an affirmative obligation to contribute to the public dialog, and our expertise is needed in a range of fields and topics across the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. We have a great deal to contribute to the global conversation, and this kind of engagement is something we at LSA value highly and encourage.
I look forward to working with you on the college’s new endeavors and our ongoing work to instruct, research, and learn this year.
Best wishes for a rewarding and successful year here at LSA.
Andrew D. Martin, Dean
Professor of Political Science and Statistics
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts