Framing, Driving & Deepening Change

Students after commencement photoOn July 1, 2015, Valerie S. Ashby assumed the deanship of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences (TCA&S), marking a new chapter in the Trinity’s leadership and a new opportunity to imagine and reimagine the Arts & Sciences. To develop vision and priorities for TCA&S, she posed three fundamental questions that have become the guiding principles for our work: Why are we here? How do we behave? And what are we going to do?

Why are we here?

Our mission is to advance knowledge through research and to deliver a world-class liberal arts education in a leading research environment.

A liberal arts education engages faculty and students together in the process of inquiry and discovery. It develops critical thinking and the willingness to question what one thinks one knows. It provides room for new perspectives through intellectual empathy. Indeed, we are transformed as faculty, students and staff when we fully embrace the idea that we learn the most from the people with whom we have the least in common. In the classroom and lab, in art studios and concert halls, and in other countries immersed in another language, we benefit most when we step outside of the familiar and embrace the unknown in new and innovative ways.

How do we behave?

The work of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences calls for a culture of service with a clear commitment to faculty and staff colleagues and to our students.

It demands a commitment to the entirety of scholarship: teaching, research and service. It calls for a willingness to listen carefully and to participate in new collaborations. It requires us to identify, prepare, and support leaders. It necessitates communication that is honest, straightforward, and transparent. It requires us to recognize, value, and capitalize on our differences. And finally, it requires a clear perspective that the achievement of excellence is an imperfect process that requires daily work.

And what are we going to do?

In advancing Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, we are focusing on three overarching themes and common goals:

  • Excellence
  • Leadership and Mentoring
  • Diversity

Each of these priorities overlaps with the other two; taken together, they frame a clear operating strategy for advancing the school. These three goals have been articulated consistently and affirmed in discussions with faculty, students, staff, as well as with the TCA&S chairs, the A&S Council, and the Trinity College Board of Visitors. They inform all of our strategic planning efforts.