College of Arts and Sciences: Vision, Mission and Values
To be recognized and respected throughout the Southeastern United States as one of the premier Colleges of Arts and Sciences at a liberal arts metropolitan university, maximizing our resources to build exceptional programs related to teaching, scholarship, creative activity, outreach, and service.
The College of Arts and Sciences is the heart of USC Upstate, South Carolina’s metropolitan university. As a community of teachers and scholars, we provide high-quality undergraduate programs and experiential learning opportunities, excellent research projects and creative activities, and significant outreach and service initiatives. Through these efforts, faculty members and students explore complex issues, increase knowledge, enhance artistic expression, discover more about themselves and the human condition, and improve local and global communities for all citizens.
College of Arts and Sciences activities are conducted in accord with our values:
- Integrity: at all times.
- Diversity: inclusion of everyone regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin,religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
- Community: of scholars, artists, teachers, and citizens who are part of a local, national,and global society.
- Compassion: toward everyone.
- Excellence: in teaching, research and creative activities, and service and outreach.
- Creativity: creative and innovative approaches to teaching, scholarship, artistic expression, and resolving community challenges.
- Collaboration: with colleagues, students, organizations, institutions, and other citizens inside and outside the University.
The College of Arts and Sciences is guided by a comprehensive strategic plan, with carefully developed goals, objectives, and strategies. We are happy to provide anyone with the entire 31-page document upon request. Below, we provide a summary of the five goals that constitute the foundation of the strategic plan.
Goal 1: Enhance students’ educational experiences consistent with USC Upstate’s metropolitan mission.
The primary purpose of the College of Arts and Sciences is to provide a high-quality education for our students. The College’s faculty, staff, and administration are committed to outstanding programs in traditional academic settings (e.g., classrooms and labs) as well as in community-based settings (e.g., internships, service learning opportunities, etc.). Many programs build on the metropolitan focus of the institution, which stresses the importance of understanding this emphasis within a local, state, national, and global perspective.
Goal 2: Enhance faculty development.
An outstanding university requires an outstanding faculty. The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to providing excellent support for each of its faculty members in the areas of teaching, scholarship and creative activity, and outreach and service. An outstanding faculty provides the best possible education for CAS students, and it also elevates our national and international stature.
Goal 3: Enhance interdisciplinary education and research within an overall structure that respects separate departments.
Interdisciplinary initiatives enable students and faculty to transcend disciplinary boundaries in search of answers to challenging questions. Increasingly, teachers and scholars understand that many “real world” challenges need to be addressed through an interdisciplinary approach. Departments and disciplines are important, as is the ability of different departments and disciplines to work together to address various issues. Interdisciplinary work can also strengthen departments and disciplines by broadening perspectives as well as theoretical and methodological approaches.
Goal 4: Develop and strengthen community partnerships throughout the Upstate and South Carolina.
At the heart of one of the major universities in the Upstate of South Carolina, the College of Arts and Sciences needs to play an increasingly important role in the life of the community that surrounds USC Upstate. The College is a vital actor in the social and economic development of the region, and it improves the quality of life among its citizens in many different ways. The College is committed to forging and maintaining partnerships with non-profit institutions, local businesses, government agencies, and other institutions in the community. Moreover, the College is ever mindful that local communities are integrally connected to broader communities in the state, the nation, and the world.
Goal 5: Expand the resource base of the College.
The amount of state money allocated to USC Upstate (and other state institutions) continues to decline. This trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. Thus, it is imperative that the College of Arts and Sciences and other units at the university seek external funds from a variety of sources (granting agencies, foundations, private sources). Without external funding, the College will not be able to make as much progress as we have planned over the next 3-5 years.