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Letter from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

The Department of International and Area Studies is a great place to be. Why?  As the academic arm of the dynamic College of International Studies, IAS is a locus of both terrific research activity and pedagogical innovation. Our faculty produce a steady stream of books and academic articles; at the same time, the Department is known for the quality of its teaching and for faculty commitment to our students. IAS consistently engages the entire campus community and the broader public through outreach activities and faculty media appearances.  And students are well aware of the dedication of our award-winning advising team and professionalism of the Department's staff.  We take pride in our identity as a Department of people with wide-ranging interests engaged in a common endeavor of enhancing the global fluency of OU students.

IAS has particular strengths in Middle East studies, Latin American studies, Asian studies, Chinese studies, European studies, and in the realms of international security and human rights.  We continue to build on these areas by adding faculty and programming in Iranian studies and South Asian studies, and also in the Arabic language flagship housed in the College of International Studies. Additionally, we challenge ourselves to evaluate our curriculum critically, to improve course offerings and to innovate in the classroom. Since spring 2014 we have run our gateway to the IAS major, "Understanding the Global Community," with a three-person team of faculty from different disciplines, and students have benefited from this exposure to a range of perspectives.  In coming semesters we will strengthen our capstone program and add flexible course offerings focused on recent developments in global affairs, and we will intensify efforts to cultivate student writing and research skills.

Each year, the range and reach of departmental outreach grows. Our events draw student and faculty participants from across the University of Oklahoma campus and beyond. And the accomplishments of IAS students expand as students gain understanding of foreign cultures, acquire language skills, study abroad in steadily increasing numbers, undertake internships and win prestigious awards -- all in preparation for careers in the Foreign Service or other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, or further graduate study.

Visit us in our home in beautiful Hester Hall, and witness our community of students, faculty and staff actively engaged in broadening knowledge of global affairs. 

Mitchell Smith

Mitchell Smith, PhD
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
College of International Studies
Chair and Professor
Department of International and Area Studies
Phone: 405.325.6681