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CCSU Searches For New C.L.A.S.S. Dean

 

by Sheelan Mohammed 

The Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Central Connecticut is officially on the hunt for a new dean as the spring of 2018 semester begins to come to a close.

Dr. Robert Wolff spoke on behalf of his candidacy and his hopes for taking on the role of Dean at Founder’s Hall last Wednesday. Wolff has been a part of the university since 1997 and has taken on a multitude of administrative and academic positions, such as the assistant chair of C.L.A.S.S., the Theatre Department, the History Department and the Honors Program.

Currently, Wolff is a history professor who said his vision includes tackling the challenge of marketing C.L.A.S.S. since the school split all those years ago. Wolff also said he plans to bring an in-depth understanding of what CCSU is all about.

“We are not the afterthought of the S.T.E.M. [or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] Colleges,” Wolff said. “We are what makes CCSU a [community] engaged and [a] driven collection of creativity. We’re what brings everything together.”

At C.L.A.S.S., the number of majors shrunk by 23 percent and enrollment also decreased 7 percent. With that being said, one of Wolff’s biggest goals is to increase enrollment and community engagement.

One of the main concerns is whether or not C.L.A.S.S. will be able to provide students with the essential skills CCSU strives for their students to maintain. Still, Wolff said he believes Arts and Sciences to be educationally and intellectually souring where students can learn to read and write articulately, work in groups, analyze by identifying practices like internships and independent studies, as these are skills businesses require, according to Wolff.

Another concern brought to the table was about how the administration would be able to market C.L.A.S.S. to parents of potential incoming students, as Wolff said there is often a stigma attached to Liberal Arts degrees. Still, he said he believes that if one can allow students to become engaged in the community, this will ultimately convince the parents of the successes that can follow with this kind of career path.

More than anything, Wolff said he wants C.L.A.S.S. to be looked at as a destination rather than just another school being overlooked.

Wolff also said he has plans on funding C.L.A.S.S. programs, though he understands that there is not always enough funding to go around equally.

“I picture my average day as dean by helping students pick a path to go on, being vocal in community evolvement and togetherness,” Wolff said.

The next forum for the search for a dean will take place on Thursday in Founder’s Hall.