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Dr. William Downs

From the Dean: Dr. William M. Downs

Welcome to the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences at East Carolina University!

The Harriot College's programs in research, student learning, and public service form an essential core for one of the 21st century's great public universities.We are home to 15 academic departments and 16 interdisciplinary programs, spanning the natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and mathematics.Rich in both tradition and adaptive innovation, the College of Arts and Sciences is a critical catalyst for East Carolina University's institutional mission.Through our own programs, as well as in partnership with others across campus and beyond, the Harriot College is pushing back the frontiers of science through impactful research, shaping new generations of leaders, and enhancing the region's prosperity through vital connections to the global economy and an increasingly multicultural society.

We are rightfully proud of our world class faculty.Our scholar-teachers have built and sustained national and international reputations as experts in their respective disciplines.With research and creative products that are increasingly supported by prestigious grants and fellowships, the College of Arts and Sciences faculty are doing impressive work to advance our understanding of the human condition and to solve the pressing challenges that mark our contemporary world.

An accomplished faculty builds strong degree programs.In the College of Arts and Sciences, we are dedicated to effective classroom instruction and to individual student mentoring at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.We strive to be a model for student access, demonstrating that motivated students from diverse backgrounds can achieve classroom and professional success at high levels.Our graduates emerge not only fully trained in their chosen fields of study, but also possessing the skills most prized in today's workplace—critical thinking, effective communication, and the ability to solve complex problems.Our programs also leverage the advantages of ECU's enviable location, ensuring that students have unique opportunities for experiential learning.

The College of Arts and Sciences is likewise committed to a mission of service.As Dean I am new to ECU, but as a native North Carolinian I know firsthand just how important our universities are to the state's communities.We are pledged to not only educate but to serve, and to that end the College works to transform and enrich the quality of life for those in our region.

To our faculty, staff and students, we invite you to look anew and to reacquaint yourself with the College of Arts and Sciences.We hope you like what you see and support the directions in which we are moving.To our valued alumni, friends, and partners in the broader community, we invite you to renew your engagement with the College.To all, we look forward to strengthening lifelong relationships of learning and leadership. The sixteenth century explorer and scholar whose name graces our College, Thomas Harriot, provides an inspirational model as we set off on new paths.Join us as we embark, undaunted, upon exciting voyages of discovery!

Dr. William M. Downs, Dean
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences