From the Dean

August 2020
Words: Fall 2020 with a blue sky as the background and fall leaves on a branches.
Dear Arts & Letters Community:


Welcome to the Fall 2020 semester! We especially welcome 467 new First Time Freshman and 618 new Transfer Students to our College of Arts & Letters Community of engaged teachers, scholars, artists, and learners!
 
The CSU system took the lead nationally by deciding very early on to hold classes this semester in an all-remote format. Doing so enabled us to create a Summer Institute for our faculty so that that they can be well-prepared to teach in both synchronous and asynchronous remote formats. I am happy to report to you that over 280 College of Arts & Letters faculty participated in the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) Summer Institute. As a result, our students will have access to high quality remote learning opportunities this semester.
 
Just in time for the Fall semester, we received approval for our newest – but not really new – major in the College: the BA in Journalism. The College of Arts & Letters last offered the BA in Journalism in the 1990s. Distinguished alumni of the former BA degree program include Dave Lopez, who recently retired from CBS News after a career of more than four decades, and Norma Roque, a reporter for Univision’s local affiliate, KMEX34. The effort to re-initiate the BA in Journalism was ably led by Professor Tony Cox, whose Op-ed Who Tells the Story Matters recently appeared in the LA Times.
 
In addition to this new major, we are also being joined by a new Associate Dean. Dr. Katherine Weiss is a Cal State LA alum, having received her MA in English here; you can read more about her in the newsletter. I offer my deep appreciation to Dr. Kevin Baaske, who served as Interim Associate Dean for the past two years. Fortunately, we will still have his expertise in the College as he returns to the faculty of Communication Studies to teach a very timely course in “Campaign Communication” and serve on both the campus and statewide Academic Senates. In addition to these changes in the Dean’s office, we are joined by ten (!) extraordinary new full-time faculty. You will be seeing profiles of our newest faculty members in subsequent newsletters.
 
Finally, I want to acknowledge that we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. LA County has recently been a hotspot nationally so please continue to follow public health guidance on mask-wearing (anytime you go out), hand-washing (frequent), and physical distancing (six feet). If you are a student needing healthcare, please contact the Student Health Center. The University’s Health Watch page is updated frequently with information about Covid-19, the campus response to it, and related services available to students, faculty, and staff.
 
Our learning journey this fall may be in a different format than expected, but it will be engaging, instructive, and transformative.
 
Go Golden Eagles!
Linda Essig
Dr. Linda Essig, Dean