From the New Dean of the CLA
—Teresa Scott Soufas
Teresa Scott Soufas,
Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
(P. Burch, Tulane Publications)
What a joy it is to write this message to you. Having accepted the invitation to serve as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and now living in Philadelphia since July 1st, I realize that I have entered a university community committed to goals that I share with great dedication. Coming from New Orleans to Philadelphia, I indeed recognize the importance of the collaborative partnership a university and its urban setting can achieve.
I am thrilled to be at a research institution with its focus on access to the excellence of educational opportunities that are grounded in interdisciplinary perspectives with both a local and an international scope of investigation and learning.
Among my highest priorities is to seek ways in which the College of Liberal Arts can work with all schools and institutes at Temple to assure that our individual strengths are realized in a setting that allows our collaborative distinctiveness to thrive. Like all deans at Temple, I will work toward a high standard of raising external funds to support the strengthening of interconnections among initiatives in urban, international, and interdisciplinary academic undertakings.
My experience to this point has included twenty-one years of faculty and administrative positions at Tulane University. My appreciation for the importance of research is a basis for my own scholarly activities as well as the ability to facilitate academic projects for faculty colleagues and for students, but I also recognize the interconnectedness of research agendas with outstanding teaching. Temple is a university in which students are given the opportunity to share the investigative activities with their faculty in all schools, and I very much look forward to supporting this mission.
I feel very fortunate to be able to join in Temple’s enthusiasm for President Ann Weaver Hart’s goals and initiatives. Her leadership allows the university’s strengths to resonate while new directions are also mapped out and exciting growth continues. I am eager to contribute CLA’s energies as well as my own to accomplishing the goals the President has set for Temple.
My sense of personal great good fortune also extends to the fact that, as one of the deans, I will be working closely with Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico. As the Chief Academic Officer, she will be a catalyst for ensuring the ongoing achievements of the Temple community. I anticipate productive opportunities to collaborate with her on focused academic projects as well as others that will span the imagined boundaries between the schools and divisions at Temple.
Included in my happiness over coming to Temple is also my delight for and interest in life in Philadelphia. A city that boasts so much cultural and historical richness promises a background for both the enjoyment of this richness that is nevertheless interwoven with urban challenges that provide the academic community opportunities to partner with the citizens to face what needs to be changed, modified, or rethought. Temple and Philadelphia have opened their doors to each other and are in the process of fostering together lessons learned and projects framed on a world-wide scope.
Now that I have taken up residence in the University and the city, I have already begun meeting and collaborating with the deans, faculty, students, and staff in all of the schools and divisions at Temple. It is an honor to take my place among you, and I am thrilled to have begun our working together.