Guest column: New academic year will be exciting time for College of Natural Sciences

The CSU Oval
Move-in 2022

Simon TavenerWelcome to the Fall 2022 semester. To those who are new to campus, we are excited you are a part of our Ram community. To those of us beginning another year here, I look forward to continuing to work alongside you.

I have the pleasure of serving as the interim dean for the College of Natural Sciences. I’m dedicated to the important work that we do and have been a proud member of the College for over two decades. Before this summer, I served as the College’s executive associate dean overseeing academic innovation and critical multidisciplinary programs.

This semester, I’m looking forward to launching the College’s new strategic plan – which we will be announcing next week. This thoughtful and intentional plan was built over the last academic year with significant work and input from many groups throughout our community. Thank you to all who participated in the planning process to produce our organization’s new guiding document. I firmly believe that it positions us with a clear vision for the future and for our collective success.

Our plan emphasizes CSU’s three critical land-grant mission areas: research, education, and engagement. Through these lenses, our plan calls on us to conduct globally relevant research that addresses major challenges and advances the frontiers of science. It makes clear our responsibility to support students throughout their educational journeys and prepare them for their futures. It demands that we do our part to expand scientific and quantitative literacy by making science accessible, interesting and relevant to the world. It is an exciting time to be a member of our college!

The full plan outlines our priorities and the work that needs to be done to meet these goals.  It will take collective, engaged collaboration to realize this vision. I am excited to put this plan into action and I hope that it will inspire you all to engage in this effort. We will share our new strategic plan with the university community after it is announced next week.

I hope all of you have a wonderful semester and year ahead. And, as we say in my home country of New Zealand, a phrase courtesy of the Māori people, Kia Ora, be well.

Simon Tavener
Interim Dean of the College of Natural Sciences