Skip to content
Contact USI

The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Southern Indiana offers students the opportunities, first, to develop the fundamentals of a liberal education upon which to base a lifetime of learning and, second, to concentrate in studies that form the foundation for professional pursuits.

More than 2,300 students are currently enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts' more than 30 majors and emphases and a similar number of minors.

The college includes the departments of Art and Design, Communications, Criminal Justice, English, History, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Political Science and Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and World Languages and Cultures.


Linking formal inquiry with self-discovery, the College of Liberal Arts fosters knowledge, skills and values necessary for success in the ever-changing global community.


We strive to ignite intellectual curiosity and a passion for lifelong learning.

We aim for the understanding of self, society and ethics necessary for responsible and engaged citizenship, for integrity balanced with social awareness.

We foster both cultural enrichment and an appreciation of the human condition in all of its diversity.

We cultivate an awareness that truth is complex, multifaceted and unlikely to be found in one place.

2021-2025 College of Liberal Arts Strategic Plan

This plan provides an opportunity to further the University’s mission through improving student success, fostering impactful engagement, elevating the visibility and reputation of the university, and strengthening financial viability. Liberal Arts faculty, staff and administrators share in the responsibility of implementing the College of Liberal Arts Strategic Plan. 

Letter from the Deans

The College of Liberal Arts has changed significantly as it has grown in faculty, staff, students, curricula, programs and facilities. Today the College houses the largest number of faculty, offers the greatest variety of majors and minors and produces more students with bachelor degrees than any other college at USI. We offer effective and rigorous programs in the arts and humanities, and social and behavioral sciences, all of which comprise the liberal arts today at universities.

We take great pride in our growth, maturation and the outstanding accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students and alumni. We are eager to showcase our achievements and to demonstrate the value of a liberal arts education in creating the next generation of critically-reflective thinkers and citizens who emerge from our classrooms as accomplished artists, social scientists, entrepreneurs, community leaders and professionals. 

In 2021, we introduced a new College of Liberal Arts Strategic Plan. This strategic plan represents an important milestone in determining the direction of the College of Liberal Arts over the next five years. This plan will guide us as we strive to achieve our goals and realize our College mission and vision. With this plan, budget requests, experiential and engagement activities, and decision-making will be made in order to implement goal strategies. 

Our new strategic plan is aligned closely with the mission, vision and goals of the University. It is also characterized by the distinctive values and aims of the College of Liberal Arts. This plan was designed to build on our strengths, to reflect upon them and to inform the implementation of strategies to ensure that we continue to provide excellence in instruction and leadership throughout the region. In this plan, we also seek innovation in our programs and curricula that will engage students in intellectual and creative inquiry in established as well as new and emerging areas of study. For this reason, the College will continue to develop new and innovative offerings with experiential learning and research opportunities and will strengthen its curricula and programs through sponsored events such as guest speakers, conferences and joint student and faculty colloquia. Furthermore, the College is committed to an inclusive educational community that will attract and develop highly qualified students, faculty and staff. Our ultimate objective is to improve continuously the experiences we offer to students, the USI community and the region.

The College of Liberal Arts is responsive to the broad perspectives of our many and diverse constituents (students, faculty, staff and alumni), and we strive continuously to provide the best experiences possible. We are committed to achieving our vision and goals as defined in our new Strategic Plan. 

Melinda Roberts, PhD
Interim Dean

Silvia Rode, PhD
Assistant Dean

Trent Engbers, PhD
Interim Assistant Dean

  • There is relevance of the liberal arts for society and the strategic plan for the college should be advanced with a desire to develop appreciation and recognition of that role in developing transferable skills and career opportunities
  • Investing in faculty development and retention is an investment in student success
  • Effective teaching matters and the liberal arts are a place where teaching is central
  • The goals of this strategic plan apply to both graduate and undergraduate students

Provide relevant and innovative educational programs, an inclusive intellectual climate, transformative and lifetime learning experiences and outcomes.  

The college of liberal arts aims to:

  • Provide consistent and accessible student support in and outside of the classroom
  • Increase opportunities for student/faculty interaction
  • Maintain and promote programs that foster inclusivity, intellectual diversity, and access
  • Invest in faculty development and retention as an investment in student success

Collaborations focused on contributing to the positive transformation of individuals and communities. 

The college of liberal arts aims to:

  • Provide and promote a variety of high impact experiences at the local and global level
  • Promote interdisciplinary student/teaching/research collaborations
  • Strengthen engagement and interaction among college constituencies
  • Support, recognize and reward faculty engagement in the community

Enhance awareness and representation of the University’s identity and academic distinctiveness. 

The college of liberal arts aims to:

  • Employ innovative strategies to communicate the contributions of the College’s students, faculty, and programs beyond the College
  • Support the creation of knowledge and wider dissemination of research and creative works produced by college of liberal arts faculty and students

Focus on diversified revenue and funding streams, resource growth and enhanced resource utilization. 

The college of liberal arts aims to:

  • Develop interdisciplinary strategies to maximize the benefits of faculty expertise
  • Reduce the obstacles to enrollment and success of diverse students
  • Increase community engagement for fundraising and resource development