Updated 8/10/20

In February 2016 Lafayette’s Board of Trustees and faculty adopted the College’s strategic direction of Affordability and Distinction through Growth. The plan encompasses increasing financial aid to students, growing the student body by roughly 400 students and adding 40 new faculty. to retain a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. The plan creates an opportunity for broadening and diversifying the faculty and academic programs at Lafayette by recruiting scholars who deepen existing disciplines as well as those who work in emerging fields or areas that transcend traditional academic boundaries.

After two years of highly consultative planning, the faculty approved an academic plan in December 2018, which applies two overarching themes across six areas of focus. The six areas of exploration  will enhance the distinctiveness of a Lafayette education by building upon the College’s ethos of integration across disciplines. These areas of focus will respond to significant global concerns, capitalize on current strengths and investments, and engage students, graduates, and large numbers of faculty members across campus.

The Academic Plan

Two overarching themes:

  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
  • Integration and Interdisciplinarity

Six areas of focus:

  • Data Science & Digital Scholarship
  • Design, Media, & the Arts
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Global Education
  • Humanities Center
  • Inclusive STEM Education & Studies

Data Science & Digital Scholarship

  • This team is led by professors Chun Wai Liew (Computer Science; liewc@lafayette.edu) and Chris Phillips (English; phillips@lafayette.edu).
  • Expansion into the fields of Data Science and Digital Scholarship will arm Lafayette students across disciplines with the necessary tools and skill sets needed to wrangle data and information, in all their permutations, so that they can effectively glean insights and knowledge, contributing to ethical advancement of the modern and digital world.
  • A Data Science minor was added to the curriculum for the 2019-2020 academic year with the first Data Science courses running in spring 2020. More information can be found at https://datascience.lafayette.edu/.

Design, Media, & the Arts

  • Design, Media, and the Arts builds upon existing partnerships between Arts and STEM at Lafayette to support and create synergistic, playful, and substantive collaboration across these disciplines.
  • For more information, contact Markus Dubischar (dubischm@lafayette.edu), Associate Dean of the Curriculum.

Environment & Sustainability

  • This team is led by professors David Brandes (Civil Engineering; brandesd@lafayette.edu)  and Dru Germanoski (Geology; germanod@lafayette.edu).
  • The Environment and Sustainability team envisions a campus culture that models a thriving and sustainable community that is able to advance solutions to environmental challenges from local to global scales.
  • This team works closely with the Office of Sustainability (https://sustainability.lafayette.edu/)  to advance shared goals. Together they are working in various ways to improve campus sustainability, increase student awareness of environmental and sustainability challenges and solutions, and implement the Climate Action Plan’s goal for the Lafayette campus to be carbon neutral by 2035.

Global Education

  • This team is led by professors Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci (Foreign Languages & Literatures; geoffrim@lafayette.edu) and Angelika von Wahl (International Affairs; vonwahla@lafayette.edu)
  • In an increasingly interconnected world, the Global Education team aims to integrate global perspectives into all on-campus education as well as ensure the accessibility of international educational experiences for all Lafayette students.
  • This team works closely with the Office of International and Off-Campus Education (https://studyabroad.lafayette.edu/).

Humanities Center

  • This team is led by professors Alessandro Giovannelli (Philosophy; giovannelli@lafayette.edu) and Eric Ziolkowski (Religious Studies; ziolkowe@lafayette.edu).
  • The Humanities Center team aims to support and celebrate all humanities scholarship at Lafayette, with the explicit intent of allowing the entire campus and the surrounding community to become more aware of, and active participants in, the College’s variegated and vibrant landscape of humanistic inquiry.

Inclusive STEM Education & Studies

  • This team is led by professors Chawne Kimber (Mathematics; kimberc@lafayette.edu) and Jenn Rossmann (Mechanical Engineering; rossmanj@lafayette.edu).
  • Inclusive STEM Education and Studies aims to make Lafayette a leader in pedagogical practices and scholarly understanding of the inclusion of women and underrepresented students in STEM fields. More information can be found at https://sites.lafayette.edu/inclusive-stem/.
  • The Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education and Studies (https://hanson.lafayette.edu/) is located on the third floor of the Rockwell Integrated Science Center. Professors Kimber and Rossmann are also the faculty co-directors of the Hanson Center.