As of March 22, I am the proud dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Foremost among the several reasons for this shift is that the new name better describes the education our students receive while studying for a BA or MA degree.
It is also more reflective of the way our faculty members think of their work.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences really is who we are and what we do. This initiative is definitely not about creating a divide between the two disciplines but about bringing them together. Our faculty members are already working in both the humanities and social sciences with an interdisciplinary lens.
This change indicates that the faculty is actively adapting to an evolving student population and represents our openness to change and willingness to do things differently.
The provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador is currently asking us to think of ways to diversify our economy – studying humanities and social sciences prepares students to adapt to change and understand fully the complex and pressing issues of the day – locally and internationally.
The motion for a name change was passed at a faculty council meeting on January 6, 2016 after several months of consultation with both faculty members and student groups. The motion was then approved at a meeting of Memorial University’s Senate on February 16, 2016 before the March 17 meeting of the Board of Regents made the motion official.
The names of the MA (master of arts) and BA (bachelor of arts) will not change.
Changes reflecting the name change will be made to the University Calendar for the upcoming academic year 2016-17. The faculty website, Facebook, Twitter and various associated materials will be updated gradually over the coming months. The name change also reflects other renovations planned for the faculty – stay tuned!
Dr. Lynne Phillips, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences