College of Arts and Sciences


MISSION:
To ensure that each student leaves UAB with the tools they need to succeed in an expanding and increasingly complex world, the college is dedicated to helping them develop the following skills and competencies:

  • Ethical and Moral Reasoning
  • The Scientific Method
  • Communication
  • Cultural Competence
  • Confidence in the Face of Complexity

VISION: We strive to establish an immersive educational experience in which students can grow through a rigorous curriculum grounded in formal instruction in the liberal arts and sciences. We will provide interdisciplinary and extracurricular experiences to prepare them for the new global ecosystem.

STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARY: The UAB College of Arts and Sciences is home to a distinctive combination of strong academic programs, outstanding teaching and a diverse student body. Our 19 departments — home to more than 300 faculty and offering more than 30 baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees — make us the largest entity in the UAB academic enterprise. We are home to research centers, community outreach programs and interdisciplinary cooperation.

PRIORITIES:
The top priority for the College of Arts and Sciences is undergraduate program development — as evidenced by our continued focus on freshman enrollment and overall student retention and graduation, our goal to improve infrastructure by building a new Heritage Hall II and renovating Campbell Hall, and growing leadership and personnel with our ongoing recruitment of seven departmental chairs.

Students: 
  • Freshman enrollment growth – enhanced faculty participation in all recruitment events, provided branding materials and messaging to assist enrollment management
  • Student retention & graduation – Increased number of advisors and raised average pay to improve recruitment and retention
Infrastructure:
  • HHB II – renamed as CAS Building; architect chosen and will move forward with Phase II approvals at the April Board of Trustees meeting; to hopefully break ground in November/December 2015
  • Campbell Hall renovations – will move forward with Phase I approvals at the April BOT meeting.
Leadership and Personnel Development:
  • Five new chairs recruited in past two years
  • Seven additional chair searches in progress – interviews and campus visits starting now and will continue until positions are filled in mid to late Spring
  • AEIVA director recruited, appointed curator, and two additional staff to establish AEIVA operations team
  • Recruited director of communications and media relations
  • Recruited director for college advancement – added two additional staff

Our goal is clear: to ensure that each student leaves UAB with the knowledge and tools to succeed in an expanding and complex global future. To accomplish our goal, the college has developed five strategic aims:

  • Globalization
  • Undergraduate Education
  • Research and Graduate Education
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Globalization

Goal: To increase the College of Arts and Sciences’ international profile and enhance students’ global perspective. Universities need to prepare students to effectively operate and succeed in our new global environment, teaching them to be self-aware, culturally nimble and confident.

Objectives:

  • More immersive experiences and interactions for CAS students.
  • Grow faculty collaborations with international partners.
  • Increase international undergraduate and graduate student enrollment by 15 percent.
  • Raise international profile of CAS.
  • Increase scholarships to support student travel.

Achievements:

  • Increasing faculty-led programs
  • Recruited Dr. Murali Venugopalan, new director of the English Language Institute (ELI)
  • Recent gifts to the departments of Foreign Languages and History

Undergraduate Education

Goal: To develop globally competent students and engage Career Services. The College of Arts and Sciences touches every undergraduate student who enters the university. It is responsible for ensuring that all students develop expertise in a chosen discipline while providing additional extracurricular opportunities for personal maturation and character development.

Objectives:

  • Recruit and retain a world-class faculty and body of students.
  • Maintain a curriculum that ensures critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and communication skills.
  • Collaborate with campus partners to develop novel interdisciplinary programs and course offerings.
  • Double the number of student applications within five years. Increase the total student enrollment by 30 percent in seven years.
  • With Career Services, develop a culture of advising and mentoring.
  • Improve technology and facilities.

Achievements:

  • 41 Searches/39 hired since October 2012 (30 in 2013-2014)
  • Ameen Barghi – 2014 Rhodes Scholar winner; Nine CAS students of 17 total Clinton Global Initiative scholars
  • Guggenheim and Humboldt prizes awarded to two faculty in 2014
  • Completed SACS re-accreditation; SACS campus visit in February 2015
  • Proposal for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre – Board approved spring 2014; implemented fall 2014 
  • Launched UABTeach – first class freshmen class fall 2014
  • Bioinformatics BS – NISP approved; full proposal in progress
  • Bachelor General Studies BGS – NISP in review by college curriculum committee
  • BA in Computer Science NISP – proposed
  • BS in Digital Forensics NISP – proposed
  • Working with UAB medical school partners to create new degree programs NISPs in genetics (BS), cancer biology (BS), and immunology (BS) – in progress
  • MSSW (MS in Social Work) focusing on social work within the health-care system – in preparation
  • NISP for BS in Sociology and BS in Medical Sociology (MCAT format is undergoing significant changes) – in preparation
  • Restructured online staff and operations
  • Developed recruitment map (specific goals for enrollment by major and department)
  • Dean to chair committee for recruitment of vice provost for Enrollment

Research and Graduate Education

Goal: To advance scholarship and grow the research enterprise. Scholarship and research productivity are fundamental for advancing the prestige of the college and the university.

Objectives:

  • Partner with schools across the university to develop large-scale interdisciplinary research programs
  • Recruit distinguished professors; create and maintain state-of-the-art facilities and resources to support their work
  • Increase funding to establish a high-level, competitive faculty and to support graduate research.
  • Encourage the submission of interdisciplinary research proposals to increase expenditures by 50 percent in five years.
  • Provide competitive internal grant opportunities.

Achievements:

  • One of nine universities named to MITRE Council to form a new NIST federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) – expected total $2-5 billion federal support during next 10 years  
  • NSF ($600,000) Partnership for Innovation Grant: CAS, Birmingham Business Alliance and three small businesses
  • US Department of Education (GAANN program) graduate-training grants ($800,000) for support of Ph.D. students; departments of Mathematics and Physics.
  • Development efforts focused around pain labs in psychology, CIAJFR (The Center), research in biology and others.
  • Redirected $1.7 million to establish competitive PhD recruitment and support program in the sciences.
  • Developed mentoring program leading to 20 NSF student submissions for NSF graduate fellowships in sciences.
  • NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center proposal [MRSEC-$14.4 million) – CAS, Engineering, Carnegie Institution, Tuskegee. 
  • CAS partners with VP for Research and Economic Development on interdisciplinary team proposals – awarded 12 total proposals of $30,000 each since fall 2012.
  • Diversity
  • Goal: To foster a diverse community. The College of Arts and Sciences recognizes that respect for diversity and inclusion is not only a moral obligation, but is important for accelerating the process of discovery, learning and the development of responsible global citizens.
  • Objectives:

Diversity

Goal: To foster a diverse community. The College of Arts and Sciences recognizes that respect for diversity and inclusion is not only a moral obligation, but is important for accelerating the process of discovery, learning and the development of responsible global citizens.

Objectives:

  • Create an international Institute for Human Rights to raise awareness and understanding of human rights issues.
  • Celebrate our national ranking for diversity.
  • Recruit and retain a faculty that reflects our society, including adding more women and underrepresented minorities in leadership positions.
  • Engage faculty from historically black colleges and universities in research programs
  • Increase scholarships available to students from underrepresented groups.
Achievements:
  • Of the 41 Searches/39 hired since October 2012 (30 in 2013-2014), 57 percent women and 26 percent underrepresented minority
  • Oversight structure in development
  • Director search underway
  • Partnerships in discussion (BCRI, BACHE)
  • Dean in collaboration with City of Birmingham to establish Freedom Center

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Goal: To create a culture of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The College of Arts and Sciences represents a catalyst for change and the inspiration of modern entrepreneurs.

Objectives:

  • Foster entrepreneurship at every level of the college experience.
  • Provide faculty and students with resources and opportunities to explore solutions to real-world challenges.
  • Partner with corporations, industry, and other academic institutions and organizations to pursue innovation areas of mutual interest.
  • Encourage faculty to submit large-scale grant proposals focused on forging academic-industrial partnerships.
  • Bring entrepreneurs and innovators to campus to inspire students and faculty

Achievements:

  • HHB II and Campbell Hall renovations – noted above
  • Four CAS junior faculty NSF Early Career (CAREER) awards ($2.61 million)
  • Awarded five graduate entrepreneurship awards ($10,000 each); students pursue commercialization efforts with faculty and industry mentors.