Note from the Dean
The skyline is incredible, presenting in bold relief the city of Chicago set against Lake Michigan. The leaves are swirling down amidst the rain and wind; the view of the campus and city is spectacular. Change is in the air and across the campus, reflected in many areas, activities, and places, from my office to the upper floors of IIT Tower at 35th and State streets.
This past spring our provost announced his intention to build student enrollment in the humanities, social sciences, psychology, as well as in the sciences at the undergraduate level. In order to support this effort, it was decided that a reorganization of the colleges would allow the university to feature these areas more prominently. Thus, we are working to flesh out the plan and vision for two new colleges composed of the former College of Psychology and the College of Science and Letters. We are all working to configure the new Lewis College of Human Sciences, which will house psychology, humanities, and social sciences, while Dean Russell Betts and his faculty are working in parallel to develop the renamed IIT College of Science.
Some have asked how we settled on our name, and it is rather uncomplicated. When IIT was formed in 1940 it was from the merger of Armour and Lewis institutes, and we committed institutionally to always preserve the Lewis name. The work of the faculty of the new college is unified by a shared commitment to the use of methods appropriate to our disciplines and by a focus on important human problems. Thus, while not entirely transparent in meaning, the new college name represents a broad umbrella under which important work focused on that which is uniquely human will continue and grow. We will be working on new degree programs, increasing our undergraduate enrollment, increasing our visibility and fund raising, and yes, relocating.
There is so much talent among the faculty and staff within the new college—this is a very exciting opportunity. I do not want to list all of the innovative and exciting projects and work, as it would be too long and my listing of it would not do them justice. We will be inviting you all to a formal launch of the new college next fall and to numerous other events so that you may experience first-hand all of the changes and meet everyone.
In the new college we are excited by synergistic opportunities for research and educational programs that are cross-disciplinary. We regard the human sciences as core to giving meaning and relevance to technological advances. Our students, collectively, already are trained to be top problem solvers ready to tackle thorny human problems. We will be strengthening our programs by bringing our expertise together, applying the lens of each of the different disciplines with our commitment to understanding evidence in order to develop a deep appreciation of the complexity of our world and the necessity for innovative solutions that factor in myriad differences of people across the globe. We also are partnering with Stuart School of Business to develop very unique educational programs that go beyond the bounds of our disciplines. We are presently and will continue to count on all of you to spread the word to help us build our undergraduate enrollment.
As you might imagine, one goal is to continue to build our alumni network. This requires all of you to stay in touch, update us with your activities and lives, engage your classmates who may not be aware of how much we have grown, and join us in building this new college. Above all, visit us!
—M. Ellen Mitchell, Ph.D., dean of IIT College of Psychology