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Letter from the Dean

jennifer malat

Welcome to the College of Humanities and Sciences 2020-21 annual report. As of July, I have been at the College (and VCU) for one full year, and what a year it has been. Yet despite the challenges of the pandemic, I have seen the ways the College has always shined and watched as people succeeded in new ways as well.

During this time, our students continued to learn, logging on to their classes, completing virtual internships and experiential learning, and ultimately making progress toward their degrees. It was inspiring to see. The same could be said for our faculty and staff, who supported our students day in and day out. Faculty also made their own strides in scholarship and research. You’ll meet some of these College leaders in this annual report.

I’d like to celebrate a few accomplishments from a very extraordinary year.

  • We retained our students. Across the country, colleges and universities struggled to keep students enrolled during the pandemic. I am proud to say that we retained our continuing students in 2020-21 at equal levels to prior years.
  • We kept our people. The pandemic initially forced us to make some painful changes, but we got through this year without layoffs or furloughs of full-time employees, and finished the year on budget.
  • We added new programs. This year we launched 12 new accelerated bachelor’s to master’s degree programs. These programs will allow more students to save time and money in their pursuit of a graduate degree. Read more about this initiative in the News Highlights section.
  • We reaffirmed our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We welcomed a new leadership position in the Dean’s Office, an associate dean for equity and community partnerships, who has led new initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the College. Read more about this position in the News Highlights section.

The College has many successes to celebrate from the past year. We are grateful to you, our supporters, who make this work possible. Your investment provides critical resources that supports our mission to prepare students for their post-graduate careers and support faculty in ground-breaking research and scholarship.


jennifer malat's signature

Jennifer Malat, Ph.D.
Dean, VCU College of Humanities and Sciences

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