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New College of Arts and Letters to advance collaboration opportunities

The new College of Arts and Letters will increase collaborative opportunities for faculty and students across the humanities, social sciences, and visual and performing arts.

The college, which was approved June 20 by the UT Board of Trustees, is a merger of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences and the College of Communication and the Arts.

“The liberal arts are the core of any great university, and bringing closer together the students and faculty from these many disciplines will provide additional opportunities to recognize and enhance those areas of study both at the University and in the community,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said.

Dr. Jamie Barlowe, dean of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, will serve as dean of the College of Arts and Letters effective July 1.

“The new College of Arts and Letters allows us to recognize, promote and expand cross-disciplinary relationships and opportunities to benefit students,” Barlowe said. “By strengthening our ties, we can build on our current accomplishments and initiate creative new ones.”

The College of Arts and Letters will serve 1,900 students majoring in disciplines such as the humanities, economics, foreign languages, psychology, communication, theatre and music, as well as the more than 14,500 students enrolled in general education classes taught by faculty in the college.

The college will include a School of Visual and Performing Arts, and Debra Davis, currently the dean of the College of Communication and the Arts, will serve as director and continue to build relationships in the community and support programming.

The college administration will consist of a senior associate dean and two associate deans. Dr. Barbara Schneider will serve as the senior associate dean, a title she currently holds in the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences, and will focus on communication, humanities and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Holly Monsos will be the associate dean focusing on the arts, continuing a similar role she holds as an associate dean in the College of Communication and the Arts. The final associate dean will focus on social and behavioral sciences. That position has not yet been filled, but it will be a promotion of an existing UT faculty member, Barlowe said.

Faculty committees from each of the colleges are continuing to work through the summer on a new constitution and bylaws for the college, faculty council and committee on academic personnel.

Barlowe joined UT in 1990. She was the founding chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and also is a professor in the Department of English.

She was named an associate dean in 2011 and became interim dean later that year. Barlowe, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Ohio State University, was appointed dean in May 2012.