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LA&S Advisory Board Rationale

In Spring 2010 the LA&S faculty adopted the following Mission Statement:

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is committed to the tradition of liberal education and its values of broad inquiry and social responsibility. Our dedicated faculty is committed to excellence in teaching, research and service. In addition to a variety of majors and minors and a growing number of interdisciplinary programs, we offer the majority of courses in the General Education Program. Our principal mission is to help students acquire knowledge, insights, and skills in the varied disciplines that constitute our academic unit, and to prepare them to become productive, responsible citizens of the world. We care deeply about the life of the mind and the meaningful exchange of ideas across disciplines. We provide the foundation for a lifetime of learning, in a campus community that values a rich cultural, scientific and artistic environment and embraces diversity. We aim to empower students through the in-depth study of at least one discipline to achieve the following educational outcomes:

  • Think and analyze critically and creatively,
  • Clearly express themselves orally and in writing,
  • Understand local and global histories and cultures,
  • Comprehend significant contemporary issues,
  • Become ethical, empathetic and contributing citizens.

Such an educational focus has been identified by national business, policy, and educational leaders as precisely what is needed – by individuals, our nation, and the global community – to meet the needs of the 21st century. But that focus, rather than on "training" for a specific career, means that the external constituencies and bases of support for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are less distinct than for the professional colleges, which generally have direct and natural linkages to individuals and organizations who support and guide the development of their academic programs. Assuring the future vitality of humanities and social sciences programs, which are at the very heart of the university, requires the guidance and support of friends and alumni who share our vision and values and are committed to helping the College realize its full potential. The College Advisory Board will help meet that need.

Key Tasks and Expectations of Board Members:

  • Provide feedback and advice on academic programs and projects and on the strategic plan of the College to keep our educational programs vital and consistent with societal needs.
  • Work in partnership with the SUNY New Paltz Foundation to participate in fundraising by: 
    1. Assisting in identifying and securing private resources to support the College's mission;
    2. Advising the Dean about prospective donors;
    3. Facilitating introductions and meetings with prospective donors;
    4. Joining the Dean and Foundation staff on calls to prospective donors, as appropriate;
    5. Reviewing and providing input on development plans for the College.
  • Make a generous (self-defined) annual gift to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Fund
  • Network with alumni, policy makers, business leaders, other professionals, and the media to advocate for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (and the liberal arts and sciences) in individual circles of influence.
  • Provide insight and perspective on career opportunities for students that grow out of the liberal arts focus of our programs.
  • Provide the Dean, other staff, and faculty with input regarding public relations needs and supply feedback from the broader community about the College.
  • Attend semi-annual Board meetings (typically half-day) and, as feasible, appropriate college or university on-campus events. (Please note: conference call participation will be provided to those Board members unable to attend a meeting in person.)
  • Consult with the Dean or the Board Chair about Board or College matters between formal meetings of the Board.
  • Serve as a local contact for events and alumni relations.

Membership: The Board membership will represent the geographic, ethnic, and gender diversity of friends and alumni of the College and the University, as well as include a variety of disciplines and class years. The board shall include a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 21 members, appointed by the Dean for renewable three-year terms.