College Dean Chester Gillis pushing to allow cross-school minors
Interviews of University administrators by official Georgetown publications are generally pretty fluffy, but the question and answer session Georgetown Alumni Online recently had with Chester Gillis, the newly permanent Dean of the College, is surprisingly meaty.
Gillis starts off the interview by talking about how Georgetown has changed since he started working here 21 years ago. He says the quality of the faculty has improved and that the students, while consistently excellent, have increasingly adopted a disconcerting pre-professional mindset.
He also talks about what his big plans are as Dean, both in the short and long-term. Over the summer, he and the rest of the dean’s office will be discussing how to improve the advising system and give it more of a mentoring dimension. A big long-term focus is going to be improving the sciences, with the goal of securing funding for the long-awaited new Science Center and adding 35 scientists to the Georgetown faculty over the next few years.
Possibly the most interesting part of the article, though, is when he talks about the need for allowing College students to do work through the SFS, MSB and NHS:
A second goal I have, (and I don’t mean this to contradict my comments about liberal arts), is to see the lines between the schools a bit more porous. If a student in the College wants to minor in a business discipline, I think that’s perfectly legitimate. I think it’s perfectly fine to have a history degree and a minor in finance.
I’ve had discussions with Dean Daly at the business school and he’s open and enthusiastic about this idea. The same is true for the School of Foreign Service and Nursing and Health Sciences, though that may be something to entertain down the road, as we should work with school at a time.