Dear College of Arts & Humanities faculty and staff,
I wanted you all to see the speech that I delivered at the UCF Downtown transition kickoff event this morning.
The structural changes announced this week have been in the works since UCF Downtown was approved and the task force members representing the College of Arts & Humanities have been fighting the good fight for our units since the initial meeting.
For many of our colleagues in other colleges, the announcement brought resolution and answers. For some in the College of Arts & Humanities, however, the changes raise questions. I am working to bring you answers as quickly as possible and will communicate those to you in a timely manner.
Please know that each and every unit of our college is essential to the functioning and success of UCF, both on the main campus and at the new UCF Downtown campus.
The Office of the Provost is continuously updating a list of frequently asked questions at https://provost.ucf.edu/bold-academic-vision/. I recommend referencing that site for the most current information. If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed on that site, please feel free to reach out to your chair, director or the Dean’s Office.
Jeff Moore, Dean
Thank you to our task force and everyone who provided input to us during the last few months. In particular, Lynn Hepner and Rudy McDaniel have been critical team members for the College of Arts & Humanities. We in CAH look forward to working with the transition team and the College of Sciences and Nicholson School of Communication, as well as the Urban Innovation transition team members, during the next few months and beyond.
One of my goals for the College of Arts & Humanities is to continue to increase interdisciplinary activities, both within the college and with external partners. A new school comprising programs currently from the School of Visual Arts and Design and the Nicholson School provides us an opportunity to walk that talk. We get the best of both worlds—a consistent connection to our colleges for these individual disciplines, and a path to new possibilities.
These possibilities are not limited to the units designated for the downtown campus. The College of Arts & Humanities is leveraging the power of all of its units to help the university move forward, both downtown and on the main campus.
While Architecture, Film, FIEA and Digital Media are a natural fit for downtown, all units of our college are excited to play a broader role in downtown collaborations and partnerships. For example:
- UCF needs a strong arts and cultural component for downtown. The arts are critical to building a community and the engaging, creative, artistic spaces necessary to sustain it.
- The downtown campus needs to tell its story to the communities that surround it—our faculty in English and Writing and Rhetoric are experts in narrative and storytelling.
- The downtown campus needs to be thinking deeply about questions of space, place, ethics, and culture – our philosophers are adept at facilitating those conversations.
- Our modern languages faculty can lead new generations in engaging with our diverse Central Florida community by building respectful dialogues across cultural boundaries.
- And, of course, we want to pay homage to the rich histories surrounding downtown and the future trajectories of our downtown campus – our historians can lead us down that path.
I look forward to these opportunities for our college, and to continuing to broaden our circles of collaboration.
This intercollegiate structure is a first for UCF, a new and innovative path for the university, and of course, whenever you chart a new path there will be questions and speculation. I am pleased to be leading our council of colleagues from the Colleges of Sciences and Arts & Humanities during this transition and we will have answers to those questions as quickly as possible.
July 2 seems like a blink away, but if I may quote Leonard Bernstein: “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” We are rolling up our sleeves and moving mountains to make sure that all our faculty, staff, and students—those who are incorporated into the new divisions as well as those who are not—are not only taken care of, but positioned for success in the months and years ahead.