I am delighted to write to you from the College of Letters & Science, the heart of UW-Madison where students learn to make a good living and lead a good life. When I think of the contributions that our departments make to the University, the state and the world, through research, teaching and public service, I am reminded why I have spent 30 of my happiest and most rewarding years here.
As you have heard, public higher education is at a crossroads. State support for this university now only comprises 15 percent of our annual budget. I have asked all departments to carefully consider innovations that give us new tools and strategies for ensuring a world-class 21st-century education.
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has truly risen to this challenge. While many comparable departments around the country are dropping their undergraduate programs, Communication Sciences and Disorders has strengthened its undergraduate training while also crafting courses that appeal to students from outside the major. Our program is consistently ranked first or second in the nation, out of around 250 comparable programs.
The department has also managed to recruit and retain outstanding young faculty members in recent years. Alumni and friends should feel proud of the vibrant, engaged community of faculty, staff and students in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
I invite you to stay connected to your alma mater. I appreciate your feedback and support and I want to thank you for all that you do.
Gary Sandefur, Dean