Mission of the College
The College of Arts and Letters will be recognized as an innovative leader in liberal arts education and
interdisciplinary studies in the mid-Atlantic region, acknowledged for its ability to prepare students to be
critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, effective communicators, and engaged citizens.
As the largest and most diverse college on campus, the College of Arts and Letters serves as a core
intellectual and cultural center for ODU and the communities it serves, promoting and extending knowledge of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Our students become engaged citizens and skilled professionals through learning opportunities that foster:
- Appreciation of the diverse cultural and aesthetic heritage of humankind, recognition of the challenges
that face contemporary societies, and understanding of the complexities of human experience;
- Development of the essential skills of critical reading and thinking, effective communication,
technological proficiency, and creative problem solving.
- Cultivation of the qualities of intellectual honesty, freedom of thought, ethical action, and dedication to
equity, inclusivity, and justice. These qualities enable students to successfully navigate the challenges
of work and citizenship in an increasingly globalized world.
The College and its faculty are committed to active scholarship that integrates innovative teaching with
internationally-recognized research and creative endeavors. The College provides both graduate and
undergraduate students with valuable opportunities to engage in groundbreaking research and
transformational learning experiences. The College also offers advanced training and qualifications in a
variety of fields, preparing graduate students for further research and professional careers.
Message from the Dean
Faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the College of Arts & Letters,
I am honored and excited to start my tenure as Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Letters. Dean Sandstrom was one of the best Deans I have worked with in my thirty years of full-time college teaching, and I am humbled to follow him in this role.
I am looking forward to this opportunity to work with my colleagues in the College to further our mission in teaching, research, and service in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. I see my role as being an advocate for and to reinforce the importance of the College's departments and interdisciplinary programs and centers within the context of the University and the community. This means actively working with and listening to our faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders to promote the College in the present and plan for the future.
As home to the arts, humanities, and social sciences, the College of Arts and Letters is the heart of what a liberal arts university should be. While these are difficult times for us all, the sense of community fostered by Dean Sandstrom, which I pledge to continue, will serve us well as we all work together to meet our current and future challenges.
Dr. Jonathan Leib
Interim Dean & Professor of Geography
College of Arts & Letters
9000 Batten Arts & Letters
Norfolk, VA 23529