The College of Liberal Arts at CSULB is the largest college on campus, with twenty-seven excellent departments and programs, several innovative centers and projects, and over 300 outstanding faculty members. The college faculty are among the best in the nation and have received a variety of national and international awards.
CLA has more than 9000 undergraduate students pursuing a variety of highly valued degrees through the college’s 67 unique majors and minors. Additionally, 900 graduate students are also obtaining advanced degrees and special certificates in the college. With degrees ranging from humanities and foreign languages to social and behavioral sciences, CLA’s graduates are well-rounded citizens, effective communicators, and analytical thinkers who live knowledgeably, responsibly, and humanely in a world where complex problems demand informed, creative, and thoughtful solutions. The skills gained through degrees from CLA are invaluable and open up countless career paths for graduates to follow.
In my first few weeks as dean of the College of Liberal Arts, I visited each of its departments and programs. I was heartened to learn about the excellent curricula and dedicated faculty working throughout the college. I also met dozens of hardworking staff members who routinely go above and beyond the call of duty to help students.
For those of you who are curious about my life before I joined CLA, here are a few facts. I spent the first five years of my life in Wildrose, North Dakota, a town of about 200 that is almost in Montana and almost in Canada. When I was five, my family moved to Homer City, Pennsylvania(about an hour outside of Pittsburgh) to be near my fatherís family.
I did my Ph.D. in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University, and then took a job teaching composition and helping to launch a Ph.D. Program in Rhetoric and Professional Communications at Iowa State University. After 11 years in Ames, Iowa, I left my snow shovel behind and took a job in the Department of English at the University of Central Florida (UCF). I served as chair of the Department of English for two years, and then spent my last two years there launching a new Department of Writing and Rhetoric. In July of this year, I left the heat and humidity of Florida behind and drove 2,600 miles to my new home in Long Beach.
In the past two months, it has been my pleasure to meet about 400 of the people who work very hard to serve the students of the College of Liberal Arts. Like most of those in higher education, CSULB is facing some tough times because of the economic downturn and decreasing state funding. However, the talent and dedication of the people who I have met here convince me that we are up to the challenges we face. Of course, we greatly appreciate the interest and support of our alumni, friends, and emeriti faculty.
Dr. David Wallace