News and CLS transitions

News and CLS transitions

Dear CLS Community,

As we officially end the 2014-15 academic year today, I want to take this moment to mark a number of transitions and to bring everyone up to date on changes that will occur over the 2015-16 academic year.

First, and most important,  please join me in thanking Giuli Dussias and Janet van Hell for their tremendous service to the CLS as associate directors.  Giuli was a founding member of the CLS when we were a handful of people in what was initially the Language Science Research Group. The CLS would not be what it is now if it weren’t for Giuli’s energy, wisdom, and incredibly positive spirit.   Janet joined as an associate director in 2011 when she became the director of the Program in Linguistics and has worked hard to implement the dual title program and its bridge to the CLS and on the PIRE.  We have all benefitted enormously from their contributions to the CLS.  Giuli and Janet will continue as co-PIs on the PIRE project and will of course participate actively in the CLS.  As of July 1, John Lipski will become an associate director of the CLS in his new role as director of the Program in Linguistics, and Karen Miller will also become an associate director of the CLS.  We thank them for their generosity in being willing to step into these positions.  

I have agreed to remain as director of the CLS in 2015-16 to enable a smooth transition.  As most of you know, in July, 2016, I will move to a new faculty position at the University of California, Riverside.  Leaving the CLS will be the hardest part of that change but there are some exciting new academic opportunities and of course we will also be able to live closer to our family.  The goal for this year is to transition into the new phase of CLS development with as few bumps in the road as possible. 

In 2015-16 we will have three lab managers.  Liza Oakes and Gabby Terrazas will continue as lab managers and Lisa Cox will join them in mid-July as a new lab manager.  We will be in touch closer to the start of the term to discuss the arrangements for research support in the CLS labs.  We thank Liza and Gabby for providing such wonderful support in the last year. They were always there when we needed them and impressively creative and resourceful in solving problems.  I also want to take this moment to thank Fengyang Ma for her incredible work as a lab manager before she transitioned to a position at SLEIC.  Fengyang is leaving Penn State at the end of July to take a faculty position at the University of Cincinnati and we wish her all the very best in her new role.

We will be searching this summer for a new position, Assistant CLS Director, that will be advertised in the next few weeks.  This is a position analogous to the assistant director position in the Child Study Center to be held by a Ph.D. level person who can oversee many of the CLS programs that have now grown to take up a great deal of time.  As soon as we have the ad prepared, we will share it with you to distribute to individuals who may be interested.  Once that position is filled, we anticipate being able to hire another staff position in addition to Sharon’s position as Administrative Assistant to the CLS.  As you know, Sharon has been doing the work of three people or more for the CLS!  We anticipate that this new staff position will provide more resources for grants and budgets that will enable Sharon’s position to be more reasonable.  As we acknowledge our colleagues, I want to thank Sharon for all she has done to keep us afloat.  She has not only handled multiple assignments with grace, but she has provided behind the scenes support to students and visitors that is a special contribution to this community and indeed, what makes this community and not simply a place to get your work done!

Many other CLS members will also move to new positions, among those Eleonora Rossi, Pablo Requena, Amelia Dietrich, Rhonda McClain, Jason Gullifer, Nick Henry, and Gerrit-Jan Kootstra.  We wish everyone well in their new positions and invite you to remain on the CLS listserv to have your inboxes cluttered with announcements and to keep us posted on developments.  I want to say a special thank you to Eleonora for whom no request for support was ever too little or too big.  She not only signed up with enthusiasm to help in every possible way, but has been a model of intellectual pursuit that transformed the CLS community. 

Finally, just to keep you informed, as most of you know, the CLS faculty submitted a new proposal for PIRE support.  Our PIRE proposal will be reviewed this summer and we will keep you posted on the outcome of that process, but I thought it would be helpful for the entire CLS community to have an opportunity to read the text of the proposal to see what we have been planning.  We have absolutely no idea whether this particular proposal will be successful, but we do have a sense that this is the direction that we want to develop, whether via PIRE support or some other means.  Whatever the outcome, we will need everyone’s involvement and input to shape the agenda for this next phase of our work together.  

Have a wonderful summer!