A Note from the Deans
August may be our quietest month, as SURF students retreat to the lab to put their final reports in order. A chance then to introduce myself as the new undergraduate dean. I come from the Humanities and Social Sciences division, where I have taught English for many years, with research interests in 18th and 19th century British literature. This may not seem the obvious Caltech background, but consider me evidence of the range and diversity of campus life. Most of my summer has been spent learning some of what goes on in the deans’ office from an extraordinary staff. I hope to be reasonably up to speed come fall term. But I’ve also started a series of informal student lunches, which turn out to be a wonderful reminder of how engaging and challenging undergraduate teaching at Caltech can be. What matters to our students? And what should a new dean be thinking about? It turns out, everything, from the core curriculum and study abroad programs to mental health services and what is that excavation along the Olive Walk? I’m looking forward to finding some of the answers in the year ahead.