Dean Discusses Future of EPPS

During the recent "Meet the Dean" event, sponsored by UT Dallas Student Government, Dr. Denis Dean, the dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, described a school that is rapidly expanding to accommodate a steady increase in the student population.

According to Dean Dean, all programs in EPPS have grown in the past year, and the growth has been so fast that PhD programs in EPPS have almost reached their capacities. In order to keep pace with the growth, EPPS hired five new professors in 2013, bringing the total number of tenured or tenure-track professors in the school to nearly 70.

One of Dean's specific targets for growth is the master's degree programs, but he also said that he is dedicated to expanding the resources available to all programs within the school.

"When I took this job I made it abundantly clear my goal is to make everyone in EPPS a success and give them all the resources they need to do that," said Dean, who took the helm of the school in November 2012.

Dean also addressed some of the concerns offered by students at the event. When asked about plans for the north end of campus, Dean told students about the $15 million renovation scheduled for later this year. The project will incorporate more green spaces such as lawn terraces and elm groves in the area outside Green Hall, creating a more park like environment. "I'm not looking forward to the sounds of jack hammers, but the end result will be worth it," he said.

He also fielded questions from students about classes, including the possibility of boosting the number of Monday-Wednesday classes to replace Monday-Wednesday-Friday classes. Ultimately, he said that the primary obstacle is the lack of classroom availability. "Realistically this goes back to the question of space. If a faculty member wanted to teach at 3 p.m. on Friday afternoons, I know I could find any room anywhere." It is much harder to find rooms on Mondays or Wednesdays.

Dean also announced plans to reinstitute the Dean's Council to address student concerns on an ongoing basis. The council, which would consist of both undergraduate and graduate EPPS students, would provide feedback to the dean regarding what the EPPS student body needs.