I AM CCAS

SHAILY MENON

Current position:
I am currently Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. In Summer 2021, I will join the University of New Haven as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Years as dean:
I am in my fourth year as Dean.

Advice for new deans:
Embrace the key role you play in guiding your colleges through this time of change and disruption. Create strong teams and support your faculty and staff. We are called upon to reimagine our colleges and disciplines in ways that will meet the needs of our students so that they will have productive careers and meaningful lives in an uncertain future.

Most meaningful contribution as dean:
I find it meaningful and rewarding to develop a vision for the College of Arts and Sciences, collaborate with key stakeholders from within and beyond the university to develop strategic goals and launch innovative and interdisciplinary programs.

When you think about the liberal arts, what gives you a sense of hope? What makes you concerned or worried?
What makes me concerned is that we live in a time when many of our most cherished institutions and values are under attack. Now, more than ever, our world needs the skills and social values cultivated by a liberal education. Our community, our nation, our world needs persons prepared to think critically about the evidence before them, persons prepared to find solutions in the midst of the unfamiliar. What gives me hope is human ingenuity and resilience and the important role of the arts and sciences.

Why she’s a member of CCAS:
CCAS is a strong advocate for liberal learning and provides a forum for discussions among deans and with other leaders to help us meet challenges. I enjoy being in community with fellow deans and benefit from the many resources and professional development opportunities that CCAS provides.

What you might be surprised to know about her:
I did research on an endangered primate species in a tropical rainforest.

What she does when not working:
I like to read, write, learn languages, and travel, which I am looking forward to very much post-pandemic.

How she keeps balance in life:
My practice of yoga and meditation help me keep balance in my life. Also, finding humor and joy in unexpected places.

Currently reading:
I just finished reading Station Eleven, which is set in the Great Lakes region before and after a fictional pandemic and was recommended by my daughter. It is described as an “audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse.”

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