News from Dean Petren

As we enter the home stretch for Spring, I wanted to update you about some of the ongoing initiatives reflecting our vision of excellent research, teaching innovation, experiential education, and community & diversity. More information about our 2015-2016 academic year will be forthcoming as we complete our annual report.


  • Twenty new tenure-track faculty will join us next year. 
  • We are having great success recruiting highly skilled educator faculty. 
  • We have successfully leveraged the Provost’s strategic and dual career hiring programs.
  • We will launch a search for an Ohio Eminent Scholar in biochemical sensors and nanodevices with CEAS.
  • The Provost’s cluster hiring initiative will provide two hires in water this year (Geography, Biology), one more in water next year (Geology), one in cancer this year (Chemistry), and two announced as part of the urban futures cluster (Sociology and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies).


We have brought in close to $12 million in external funding this past year! Notable gains occurred in Biology (sensory), Chemistry and Physics.

Emerging research excellence 
Building research foci has helped A&S departments gain national recognition, and it is a good strategy for us to compete with larger universities on a national stage. Recently, we created one of the very best particle physics groups in the world with new hires and retention efforts.  Meanwhile, A&S cross-college research themes have met and will be planning next steps to engage collaborators outside of A&S.


We have a record number of applicants for Fall! Based on research, we are positioned well to attract our students with our interdisciplinary opportunities.

The A&S Faculty Senate unanimously endorsed a proposal to admit the top 10% of students from each graduating class from all Cincinnati High Schools. We are working with admissions to make this happen.

We are connecting students to their career paths through a partnership with ProPEL that will bring internships and hopefully new co-ops that will join the Communication Co-op launched in A&S last year. A university committee has recommended Career services be folded in with ProPEL and we will establish a seamless connection to A&S students.


The Digital Media Collaborative has launched!  A&S, CCM, DAAP and UC Libraries have partnered to create a new program that spans from digital communication to filmmaking. I am happy to report the program has been launched as a track within our Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree, and we expect it to grow rapidly.  

The McMicken Honors Scholars program has a new director, Dr. Russel Durst (English). We are setting requirements and framing the program to serve as a recruiting tool for top-flight students interested in the humanities and interdisciplinary studies. 

A&S has launched two online degrees. The Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree can now be completed online, which will bring new students to A&S. Psychology launched an online completion degree for Occupational Therapy students with Allied Health and UC2U, which represents the first inter-college partnership of its kind at UC.


Scholarship offerings to our students grew by 13% in FY 2016.  We expect continued growth as students take advantage of a new system to apply for scholarships that was put in place this past year. Student scholarships will be the top priority for our next major advancement campaign.


It would take up too much space to list all the ways that we engage with our local and global communities on a day-to-day basis, but I did want to mention the Cincinnati Museum Center project. The museum is closing for renovation, and we are partnering with them to exhibit their collection on campus. Elissa Yancey and Arnie Miller are leading this effort.

We have accomplished many great things in the last year. Yes, we continue to face challenges, but I am confident that we have the people and the talent necessary to thrive in this environment. As always, I’m honored to be your dean.