ANNUAL LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
James B. Rives
Last spring, when I began telling friends and colleagues that I had agreed to take over as department chair, reactions were mixed. People outside of academia tended to congratulate me, regarding my new position as an honor or a promotion. Colleagues, in contrast, generally offered their condolences, since they realize that serving as chair means having a lot more obligations and responsibilities, not all of which are particularly pleasant.
Now that the end of my first year as chair is in sight, I’ve decided that both groups are right. On the one hand, the obligations and responsibilities are very real, and even weightier than I had anticipated. This has been a challenging year for me, and indeed for the entire department. The budget cuts of the last four years are having a serious albeit delayed impact, and we have been coping with an unusually busy year at a time of unusually low faculty numbers.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our departmental library has grown considerably this year, adding new titles to the collection and adapting an electronic check-out system to monitor its circulation.
This has been an exciting year in the Ullman Library.
The library staff has cataloged more than 2,000 books for the collection so far this academic year. The library has received a great many donations that has allowed these acquisitions to take place. Thank you to all the donors who helped build the library through their generosity this year. It has been a delight to watch the library grow as a higher quality collection.