Dean's Welcome

Dr. Vida Samiian

Dr. Vida Samiian, Dean

Welcome to the College of Arts and Humanities at California State University Fresno. 

Is an education in the Arts and Humanities worth anything?  At times I run across this question—perhaps less bluntly put—in conversations with parents and students.  It actually might be more appropriate to ask me if an education without them has any value at all.

Our disciplines are not about things, they are about life, both intellectual life and life in practical terms.  The arts —including theatre, dance, music, creative writing and the visual arts—expand the creative mind as they teach us to appreciate the artistic world.  The disciplines in the humanities provide a gateway to help understand the human existence and develop the intellectual skills that allow us to evaluate, analyze, and critique the works of our imagination.  Together, the arts and humanities nurture effective communication tools, strong analytic and problem solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and the desire to become lifelong learners.  These are the tools most valued in our global society.

The College takes pride in its excellent programs and superior faculty.  Our faculty are actively engaged in research and creative activities.  They annually publish many books, essays, journal articles and book chapters, and maintain an extraordinary program of creative activity including recordings, musical compositions and performances, plays and theatrical performances, poems and prose, and a large number of works in the visual arts.

Similarly, the College highly values the interaction between student and teacher in the classroom.  Year after year, student evaluations indicate that our faculty excel in their work.  They show a tremendous level of commitment to the students and to their well-being.  Our relatively small classes, with an average of 25 students per class, provide an environment for intellectual exchange and mentorship that is highly conducive to learning.

It is therefore not surprising that our graduates do so well both in job placement or in moving on to major doctoral programs across the country.  Visit us in person or on the web.  We will enjoy talking to you, and you might discover that much of what is valuable in life is to be found in the Arts and Humanities.