Dean's Newsletter

Volume 9, Issue 3

Volume 9, Issue 3

For religious man time too, like space, is neither homogeneous nor continuous. On the one hand there are the intervals of a sacred time, the time of festivals... on the other there is profane time, ordinary temporal duration.
-Mircea Eliade

With the celebration of the Winter Commencement Ceremony last Sunday, the end of the latest period of “ordinary temporal duration” arrived in a hurry this semester. That is probably because we were all challenged by an unusually large number of commitments. Beyond the faculty’s regular teaching and research duties, we dealt with the Program Prioritization process and its effects, the college’s strategic planning initiative, writing proposals for tech fees, participation in the Fenn grant promoting internships for CLASS students, and the normal promotion and tenure processes.

On December 14, 21 CLASS graduate students and 233 undergraduate students received their diplomas and moved into the next phases of their lives. On December 2, we honored our 19 distinguished CLASS Scholars as well as our CLASS Valedictorian for the fall semester, Hannah Kohr. In her years at CSU, Ms. Kohr, an Anthropology major and a member of the Honors Program, compiled a distinguished record of not only academic accomplishment but also community engagement.

With the end of the semester, we now have entered into what some may describe as a period of sacred time, the time of the winter holidays. As society becomes more secular and the tone of holiday shopping commercials becomes ever more shrill, the “sacred” character of the winter holidays has somewhat dimmed, but this time somehow continues to feel like time set apart, detached from our ordinary working lives. It is a time for reconnecting with family and friends, a time for mirth and celebration, a time, too, for quiet reflection on the old year and anticipation of the new.

Thus, the college’s offices and classrooms will remain relatively quiet over this period. As you know, the university will be closed from December 25 through January 1. However, the Department of Theatre and Dance will come alive again early in the new year. From January 2 to January 6, 2015, the department will host the Northeast sector’s regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) on the CSU Fine Arts campus.  The KCACTF was founded in 1969 as a catalyst to improve the quality of theatre on American campuses. It has grown into a network of over 600 academic institutions across the country. The organizers are expecting about 1,500 participants at the regional festival. They will come to see the best college productions from the region as well as to participate in various workshops, symposia, and regional-level award programs. I am pleased to share that CSU’s production of the Dybbuk, directed by Michael Mauldin, was chosen from among 60 applicants to be one of the seven productions to be staged during the festival. Congratulations to Michael and his students on this important recognition!

So we will start the new year on a high note. Since the new semester will also bring its share of new challenges, I wish you all a very relaxing, stress-free holiday season and a new year filled with every success. Let us use this “time apart” to regain our strength, our perspective, and our joie de vivre!

Best Wishes,

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