On the evening of December 12, College of Arts and Sciences faculty, staff, and guests gathered in the Cook Center for Public Arts and Humanities in Maxwell Hall, on the Indiana University Bloomington campus, to celebrate the more than 150 College faculty authors who have published over 170 books since 2020.
Faculty Book Party
Paul Gutjahr, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education and the Ruth Halls Professor of English, welcomed guests to the event and introduced Rick Van Kooten, Executive Dean of the College and Professor of Physics, who provided remarks virtually as he was suffering a mild case of flu.
“As 2022 comes to a close, this is an auspicious moment to take stock of the outstanding intellectual contributions, and scholarly output, of our College faculty,” Van Kooten said. “This is especially true, given that since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, so many things we would normally do for our faculty were put on hold.”
More than 35 departments in the College— and all three College divisions, Arts and Humanities, the Social and Historical Sciences, and Natural and Mathematical Sciences—were represented in the books displayed in bookcases that lined the walls of the Cook Center. “The books you see on the shelves here tonight are a testament to our faculty’s commitment to discover new knowledge, expand human understanding, and inform and improve our lives,” said Van Kooten. “The wide and varied subject matter covered in these books admirably reflects the breadth, depth, and diversity of our faculty and the College.”
Van Kooten described the faculty in the College and at IU as groundbreaking scholars, innovative teachers, and devoted mentors, whose scholarship within and across the College’s departments is advancing traditional fields of study, and creating new ones.
“You embody the College’s mission: to engage in research and creative activity, and conduct scholarship that advances disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge,” Van Kooten said. “Your work benefits our University, our state, the country, and the world.”
Highlighting the many benefits of the faculty’s scholarship as well as the College’s and IU’s teaching and research enterprise, Van Kooten explained that a core part of his vision to is to grow the College, and expand its impacts.
“This of course includes key institutional goals such as enrollment,” he said, “but it extends beyond that, as we seek to grow resources for students and faculty, and for research. And likewise, a critical goal to which we and I remain committed is to recruit, mentor, and retain the most outstanding and diverse faculty—from scholars in the early arcs in their careers, to those preeminent in their respective disciplines.”
He added: “Underscoring all of this, as we seek to grow the College post-pandemic, is to ensure we are as well-resourced as we can possibly be as a world-renowned, R1 public university.”
Van Kooten also highlighted IU’s support for scholarly publishing, for example, through the resources of the IU Libraries and its Scholarly Communication Department, the Indiana University Press, and the Office of Scholarly Publishing, and through ongoing support for faculty pursuing book publication.
With ample cheer, Van Kooten concluded his virtual remarks by raising a glass of water and a dose of flu medication to toast faculty and guests gathered in the Cook Center: “Your publications do so much to expand our knowledge, inform disciplines, and improve our lives on so many levels: intellectually and artistically, individually and as a society.”
More information about the College’s faculty is available online.