Dean's Office

Welcome from the Dean

Welcome to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University.  CLAS was created on July 1, 2004, becoming immediately the largest of the University's colleges, with the widest range of courses and curricula. Our students can choose from among more than 50 bachelors degrees (and a growing number of advanced degrees) in the natural and mathematical sciences, humanities, the fine and performing arts, and the social sciences. And of course GVSU undergraduates in all fields and colleges build the foundation for their major studies in general education courses offered by our College. It all starts here—an education for living, and for a lifetime of change.

What does that really mean? Our College embodies GVSU's commitment to undergraduate teaching and individual attention to student learning, opening paths to futures in a wide range of professional worlds. But our students also find there's something life-changing about study in the liberal arts and sciences. We are distinctive in both range and depth: the College offers well over 1,000 courses, from Athletic Training to Music to Psychology to Zoology, exploring the most profound artistic, scientific, cultural and social questions that human beings have formulated and pursued. Our students learn about the birth of stars and tsunamis, help make a film with professional actors and directors, explore the ethical considerations in sustainability, explore the possibilities of geographic information systems, and engage a variety of communities in service. But we're also all about recharging the batteries and refreshing the mind and heart: our faculty keep their courses state-of-the-art through their own scholarship; our vital tradition of the literary, studio and performing arts enriches the entire community. This is education for living, with knowledge and skills that are immediately marketable; but these skills and this knowledge are much more than an education for an entry level job because they are enduringly transportable to contexts of endeavor our students will encounter years and even decades in the future—across a lifetime of change.

At a moment in history when change is more profound and more rapid than ever, what could be more useful than preparing to navigate it? The liberal arts and sciences build exactly those dynamic habits and transportable skills of inquiry, analysis and communication that will liberate you to make the world your own, even as you realize your place in it. A lifetime of change requires the broad exposure, deep challenge, and vibrant, continuing, self actuated growth -- growth of knowledge, and growth in individuals and among people—that our students find in the liberal arts and sciences at Grand Valley. And as you'll see in the news, features, events and spotlights on our site, students can choose from an abundant supply of opportunities for active and engaged learning, and a lot of fun along the way.

Enjoy your exploration through our website, and please return to visit us often--we are continuously updating our pages with the latest information. If the College can be of service to you in any way, we have phone numbers and e-mail addresses throughout our site, and we'll be glad to help you find whatever information you may need. And whether you're an alum, a prospective student, a constituent in the state, or a new member of our College, I want to know your responses to our College site. Below is a link for your feedback; please let us know what you think, how we can help you, or how we can make the site more useful.

Frederick J. Antczak
Founding Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

B-4-232 Mackinac Hall

Grand Valley State University

Allendale, Michigan 49401

(616) 331-2495

Provide feedback on our site


Addresses at College Meetings and Hauenstein Center

An Education for Living, and for a Lifetime of Change (August 22, 2019)

What Gets Us Through?  A Meditation Photobombed by Spring (March 28, 2019)

First, Principles:  What Access Means (August 23, 2018)

Good Times, Hard Times, Each Other (March 28, 2018, Sabbatical Showcase)

A King's Ransom (History Day 2018)

A.I., Sweaty Palms, and Liberal Education (August 24, 2017)

Towards Living a Meaningful Life: Education for Living, and a Lifetime of Change            Conference Keynote, the National Association of Communication Centers  4/21/17

Celebration and Resolve (April 6, 2017)

How Lucky We Are: Transitions in an Enduring Calling (Aug. 25, 2016)

Trumpery, Vocationalism and the Bachelor's Rose: Taking the Off-Ramp from the Roads to Perdition (April 7, 2016)

What Happiness Feels Like (Science Olympiad, 2016)

Ready for More (August 27. 2015)

Not Just the First Job (April 1, 2015)

A Year of Hope and Dreams (August 21, 2014)

Gratitude (April 1, 2014)

We Did All That (August 22, 2013)

The Currency of Character: Scarcity, Abundance and the Next Transitions (April 3, 2013)

Walking the Talk: Rhetoric as a Practice of Ethical Leadership (November 7, 2012)

Professing More: Six Ways to Extend Our Reach (August 23, 2012)

A Tradition of Change (April 4, 2012)

After the End of the Beginning (August 25, 2011)

Breakthrough: A Song For Graduation (Traverse City, May 7, 2011)

Reaching for Pebbles in the Valley of Elah (April 6, 2011)

The University We Ought to Want: Building with the Mortar of Commitment (August 26, 2010)

For All Our Worlds: Education in the Arts and Sciences (April 7, 2010)

We Must Be Giants (August 27, 2009)

We Are a Ship, Not a Clown Car: Clashing Metaphors for Higher Education in Economic Turbulence (Apr. 1, 2009)

Keeping Our Promises, Fulfilling Our Promise: What's Smart, What's Right, and a Few Synecdoches (Aug. 21, 2008)

Affirming the Tradition (April 18, 2008)

What One Hopes for at the End of Things (August 23, 2007)

Nevertheless and Therefore: Accountability and Accomplishment (April 17, 2007)

A Season of Rededication (August 26, 2006)

Pardon the Interruption (April 19, 2006)

Transitions and Essentials (August 25, 2005)

Operationalizing Trust (April 25, 2005)

Focusing a Shared Vision (August 24, 2004)