Brenda Phillips joined IU South Bend officially on July 1 as the new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). She was previously Associate Dean and Professor of Sociology at Ohio University at Chillicothe where she furthered partnerships to prevent domestic violence, drug addiction, and hunger. She holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in Sociology from the Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and History from Bluffton University in Ohio.
Dr. Phillips is passionate about bringing campuses together with their communities. In fact, that’s what she found initially appealing about IU South Bend.
People here seemed really invested in the connection between the campus and the community and that’s just what pulled me in, explains Phillips. I really want to share the expertise we have in the college with the community and try to explore, celebrate, and see if we can leverage that further.
The phenomenal scholarship that she saw in the CLAS faculty was also a major factor that drew Philips to IU South Bend.
Going through their CVs was stunning, just stunning. To be part of a vibrant intellectual community like that is very exciting. And that feeds into what you can do for the community. You can share your expertise, make a difference, help grow programs, and do all kinds of things to benefit from the knowledge base we have generated over all these decades.
Phillips is excited to get started making her mark on CLAS and the university as a whole, particularly in regards to making a difference with students.
My goal for CLAS is to take really good care of our students because that’s our mission. We are here for the students and they need to come first. I want to focus on what we can do to try to further that, she says.