College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Dear Detroit Mercy Community,

We are excited to announce that the College of Liberal Arts & Education (CLAE) will be renamed the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences (CHASS) in fall 2024. This change signals the College’s transformative approach to teaching and learning that meets students where they are and takes them to where they want to be. 

This new name, approved by CLAE faculty, the President’s Council and the Board of Trustees, emerged from a year-long process guided by a committed taskforce of faculty, staff, students and alumni who held focus groups, engaged in discussions and conducted surveys at the College and University levels.

The College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences is one marker of our innovative approach to a liberal arts education that attracts students to our University and empowers them to engage and excel in a rapidly changing world. Our dedication to the transformative power of the liberal arts, a hallmark of our Jesuit Mercy tradition, remains steadfast.

Your involvement and support are integral to the journey ahead.  Join us as we celebrate the enduring spirit of the liberal arts and the College’s ever brighter future.

We invite you to visit this web page to learn more about the new name, vision, mission and other developments as well as offer feedback.

Together, let us continue to inspire and shape the leaders, thinkers and visionaries of tomorrow. The World Needs Titans.

Warm regards,

Professor Pamela Zarkowski, JD, MPH                                  
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs                   
University of Detroit Mercy  

Jocelyn M. Boryczka, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
College of Liberal Arts & Education
University of Detroit Mercy

Looking Ahead

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    The Journey to Define Our Vision and Mission

    The new name for the College was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 23, 2023. This emerged from approximately six months of ongoing deliberations in the College, including the Faculty Assembly vote for the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences (CHASS) as its top name preference. Our new name emerges from our deliberative process as a College community. 

    We also have a new vision and mission statement. The College of Liberal Arts & Education (CLAE) CLAE Strategic Vision Taskforce, which included faculty representatives selected by the Executive Committee for CLAE Shared Governance, staff, students and alumni, was charged with developing a new vision and mission. Their deliberations, coupled with a College and University survey, six focus groups and input from the CLAE Council of Chairs, resulted in the new vision and mission that chart the way forward for the College as we remain true to our legacy at University of Detroit Mercy, commitment to liberal arts education, and the Jesuit and Mercy charisms and commitment to liberal arts education.


    Our New Mission

    Drawing on the traditions of the liberal arts and our Mercy and Jesuit founders, the College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences ignites a passion for learning that crosses disciplines and continents and engages diverse perspectives to inspire ways of knowing that transform understandings of our past, present, and future; inspires a drive to translate creativity and critical thinking into actionable strategies and community engagement that connect the pursuit of learning and the pursuit of justice; and fosters a synergy between career and life success so all may thrive in and care for an ever-changing world.

    Our New Vision

    A College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences education will illuminate
    and ignite engagement with the diverse experiences of our shared humanity.
    We will foster communities of belonging so that people learn, thrive, and
    discover who they are and who they are called to be to build more just,
    equitable, and inclusive societies.

Alumna Perspective

Marlena Peleo-Lazar '72 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. She started her career in Chicago working for two legendary ad agencies — Leo Burnett and Ogilvy & Mather — where she led creative advertising for several world-class brands including serving as  the former chief creative officer for U.S. advertising at  McDonald's. She served on the College of Liberal Arts & Education Strategic Vision Taskforce for the renaming.

Frequently Asked Questions

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    When will the name change take effect?

    The new name for the College will become effective fall 2024.

    Why is the College's name changing?

    The new name better reflects the programs offered through the College -- humanities, arts and social sciences. Also, the graduate and undergraduate programs offered for K-12 teaching and administration were discontinued, so the name change better clarifies our program offerings. The name change also better aligns with the needs of 21st century students.

    How does the name change affect current students?

    Current students will not be affected academically or in terms of their degree programs. Students in the College of Liberal Arts & Education who will be graduating in May 2024 are the last class to graduate under this college name.

    What college will incoming students for the humanities, arts and sciences majors be enrolled under in fall 2024?

    In fall 2024, all students admitted to the University who will be majoring in the humanities, arts and social sciences will be admitted to the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.

    Will the academic programs be affected by this name change?

    No, the academic programs will remain the same, but the new name better represents the wide range of programs and disciplines within the college.

    What are the benefits of this name change?

    The new name will enhance the college's identity and better convey its academic offerings to prospective students, faculty, and the community.

    Will the College's mission and values change with the new name?

    The name change is an opportunity to reimagine the College's future. With that comes a new vision and mission which appear on this web page. However, we remain steadfast in upholding our legacy of providing an outstanding liberal arts education in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions.

    How can alumni stay connected and engaged with the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences?

    Alumni can continue to engage with the college through alumni associations, events, and by staying updated through the College's website and social media channels.

    Will the College's website URL change?

    Yes, the URL for the College will change. That discussion is currently active and will be communicated once the new URL has been approved. In the interim, please continue to use

    Will there be a celebration or event to mark the name change?

    Yes, as we move closer to fall 2024, please check back on this web page and other University communications for events that will take place celebrating the name change.

    Will the College's social media profiles be updated?

    Yes, once the name change takes effect in fall 2024, the College's social media profiles will be updated. For now, please follow us on Facebook, x/Twitter and Instagram using @udmclae. For LinkedIn use @detroitmercyclae.