Message from Dean Astrida Orle Tantillo
Welcome to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago!
In 2013 the College will transition to a model of cohort advising in which each student will have an assigned academic advisor and the advisors will have specific groups of students with whom they will work. From day one each freshman will know to whom to turn if he or she has a question, whether it is about academic programs, selecting a major, or securing internships, financial aid or counseling services. Studies have shown that one of the keys to academic success is to have one knowledgeable person to whom students are connected throughout their college career. So that is what we are going to do.
An improved graduation rate is an important goal, but we are also invested in the future success of our students. We will be increasing resources for our internship programs and advising in the professions. We also want more students to take advantage of undergraduate research opportunities. These are all experiences that really boost marketable skills.
LAS is at the heart of the university. We are committed to providing an environment where our students can thrive and flourish, no matter what their background.
A menu of freshman seminars is currently in development. In five years I would like to have every freshman in a small-seminar setting. There will be a buffet of opportunities including general education courses and skill-building classes. Everything will be geared toward freshmen, with instructors specially trained to teach them. Such courses should enable students to connect more easily with faculty members or advisors. The College is also creating an early-alert system in which advisors will notify and meet with students at mid-semester if they are in danger of a failing grade.
LAS is at the heart of the university. Students from all colleges take many of their foundational liberal education courses here, and we continue to be committed to a diverse, urban population with varying levels of preparation—that comes with a big responsibility. Our Writing Center and the Science and Mathematics Learning Centers provide tutoring in the core disciplines, and we are increasing the number of tutors and expanding tutoring hours. We are also discussing moving some of the tutoring to the library’s IDEA commons so that we can move beyond a nine-to-five model for tutoring services. We are committed to providing an environment where our students can thrive and flourish, no matter what their background.
Astrida Orle Tantillo, PhD
Continue reading about how LAS is making a real impact in the most recent edition of AtLAS.
In addition to serving as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Astrida Orle Tantillo has served for 15 years as a professor of Germanic studies and history. She previously served as the director of the College’s School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics before filling the role of interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dean Tantillo is an internationally renowned Goethe scholar and former president of the Goethe Society of North America.
Dean Tantillo's full curriculum vitae