It is an honor to be writing to you as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as we start the 2022-2023 academic year. I am grateful to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Chris Clemens for providing me with this opportunity. I also want to thank Terry Rhodes and the deans who preceded her for their contributions to making the College one of the most respected places in the country for students to receive a well-rounded liberal arts education and for faculty to teach and conduct research with dedication and innovation.
As I am new to Carolina, I expect that my first months will be spent listening and learning. I look forward to meeting you in various capacities this semester. I will be meeting with department chairs and unit directors, with the College’s foundation and advisory boards during their fall meetings, and with other groups and constituencies across the College. I look forward to attending College events — lectures, symposia, concerts and performances.
First and foremost, as a newcomer to Carolina, I know that I need to earn your trust. I pledge to be honest and transparent in my communications with you. Such communication is essential to building effective relationships, which are key to advancing our mission and priorities. Being honest and transparent sometimes means having difficult conversations. But it also means sharing information that will allow us to work together to achieve our desired goals.
Second, I pledge to advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, as I did throughout my years as interim dean of the University of Colorado Boulder. I look forward to working with Associate Dean for DEI Karla Slocum, the unit-level diversity liaisons, the dean’s staff and faculty diversity advisory committees, and others on these issues. Diversity, equity and inclusion go hand in hand with what it means to provide an excellent liberal arts education, which values diverse ideas, cultures and perspectives. It is our obligation to ensure that every member of the expansive College community — faculty, staff and students — feels welcome and that they have the support they need to do their best work.
My third pledge is that I will be the dean of everyone in the College of Arts and Sciences. No matter your role, I will be your advocate. Whether faculty or staff, we all have our jobs to do, and for the College to function at its best, we must all work together and support one another.
I don’t want to make my first communication too long. In short, I’m glad to be here, I’m excited to add to the great legacy of the College and Carolina, and to working with all of you. I took a sip from the Old Well this morning for good measure.
James W.C. White
Craver Family Dean
College of Arts and Sciences