Now that I am entering my third month at CSUN I feel that I have been here long enough to welcome you to our college – whether you are a student, parent, colleague, or philanthropic supporter, you are part of the Humanities fold, and we depend on your collaboration, your connection, and your ongoing support for our success. And what success we are enjoying! I just returned from a national education conference on the East Coast and I am very proud to share with you how much recognition CSUN gets on the national stage. We may not be on national TV every week in sports and we may not have a billion-dollar endowment to draw from, but we have so many successes to be proud of! National rankings such as Money Magazine, Washington Monthly, Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal have all recognized CSUN’s enormous contribution to the region, the state, and the nation. CSUN is the 6th most transformative university in the US, the 4th in the nation in social mobility, 3rd in the country in number of bachelors degrees to Latinx students, and 2nd nationwide in Most Diverse Learning Environment.
Today, more than ever, with rapid evolution of society, the College of Humanities stands as an essential part of CSUN’s amazing success in providing high quality transformative educational experiences. The college provides foundational instruction in essential skills and disciplines to students in all of CSUN’s majors and it provides an academic home for the more than 2,000 students whose majors are in the college. Our departments, programs, centers, and institutes challenge students to think, examine, create, and express themselves. Our renowned and talented faculty lead explorations of identity that investigate what it is that we know about ourselves – and also challenges what we think we know – about the intersecting cultures to which we belong, and how those values, cultures, and beliefs form the very core of our modern society. By engaging with the humanities, we are signaling that we are curious about the world and its many cultures, that we are curious about manifestations of identity, that we are curious about language, literature, and communication, that we are curious about existential questions about the divine and about human thought, and that we are curious about how to best share and impart these questions to future generations. Humanities represents a pure form of intellectual curiosity that not only leads to understanding who we are but also to understanding how and where we are different. These forms of understanding are the bedrock of any diverse society, and we are proud to lead CSUN in its role as an engine of social mobility and progress.