Alumni CLASnotes Fall 2002

A Note from the Dean


Meeting the Challenge

SullivanGreetings to all our alumni and college friends from Turlington plaza. As the fall of 2002 closes out, significant changes are on the horizon for the University of Florida and for our college. UF President Charles Young's strategic plan to restructure the university will position this institution to advance considerably into the top echelon of public universities. The college is tasked to play a major role in this plan, as stated by President Young: "The academic quality of any university is largely tied to the reputation of the academic disciplines found in this college. Without a first-rate College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UF will not achieve the goals we pursue, nor will it fulfill its fundamental obligation to the state."

The importance to the state should not be underestimated. Although we understand and value the prestige and importance of academic leadership, what is not fully understood is the value of a top research university to the economic, physical and cultural well-being of the citizens and to the state as whole.

We serve as the flagship university of the fastest growing state in the nation, and many of the issues we observe in Florida today represent the major new challenges facing the nation: fresh water needs, fragile ecosystems, children and violence, care for the elderly, and the development of space-age industry around new technologies. Progress in these areas, if we are to learn from the past, will be nucleated and grown from innovative research in primary areas that ask provocative questions.

Route 128 around Boston, Silicon Valley and North Carolina's Research Triangle all grew out of university research spin-offs that began as fundamental research at the parent academic institutions. This pattern will be repeated again.

The state of Florida needs at least one truly great and inspiring institution that will provide the intellectual energy leading to advanced technologies and the socio-economic well being we expect for the future of Florida. With the implementation of the strategic plan, and the extraordinary quality of our students, who are our future leaders, UF and CLAS are being asked to meet this challenge. With assistance and dedication, I am confident we will finish the tasks before us.

Neil Sullivan, Dean
sullivan@phys.ufl.edu


Photo:
Jane Dominguez

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Thursday, 30-Jul-2009 11:55:06 EDT