The UTC College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) has named History Department Head Mike Thompson a CAS Department Head of the Year.
Under Mike’s composed leadership, the History department has grown to be stronger and more resilient. Collectively the faculty have done considerable work to streamline their course offerings and to make their degree program more accessible to more students. Mike has very successfully collaborated with his colleagues to lead these efforts. Throughout the year, he demonstrated a keen ability both to manage and to lead the department on various fronts. Specifically, I note Mike’s strong advocacy on behalf of the department. Under his leadership, the Department of History continues to be viewed by the campus community (and beyond) as a hub of intellectual inquiry and as a place where student needs and student learning are central and driving forces. Mike’s abilities to remove barriers, solve problems, and achieve departmental goals are rightly recognized and valued by his colleagues. That is evident in the reviews of his job performance (by his faculty). Mike is available and accessible to his faculty, staff, and History majors, a fact that is valued by all, I know. Likewise, this year, he deepened a sense departmental community and identity, successfully promoted the department to external audiences for the sake of development/fund raising—even landing a $500k gift—and he participated in numerous professional development opportunities, including workshops for new department heads which were organized and offered by the American Historical Association and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences. I appreciate his enthusiasm and his willingness to seek out and attend such valuable opportunities. Mike likewise ensured the delivery of high-quality online courses, ensured course availability both in the Gen Ed curriculum and for History majors and minors, constructively engaged our new Student Success Center, including its leadership and its advisors, supported campus-wide initiatives related to Activity Insight and Digital Measures, and very capably mentored junior faculty. With all of this in mind, it is clear that Mike’s administrative workload was and is quite substantial. He managed it very well. I appreciate all that Mike did for the college and for the Department of History this year. He is a good and capable advocate, a strong and judicious voice among our department heads, and I look forward to working with him next year.
Congratulations to Mike!