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Meet the Dean

Jason Janke Ph.D., is the interim dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Janke has served as associate dean since 2016 and concurrently was a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. He first joined Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2006 as an assistant professor, prior to which he was an assistant professor of geography and geology at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Read Dr. Janke's Spring 2021 Welcome Back:

Dear CLAS Students, Faculty and Staff,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back for the Spring 2021 semester. As I mentioned in my Fall 2020 Message from the CLAS Dean, I continue to be impressed with your Roadrunner resolve and determination. Despite these trying times, I stand in awe of your accomplishments and am writing today to renew my support for your Roadrunner journey. The start of the new year always brings time for reflection on where we have been and where we are going.

Commitment to advancing the arts, sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities. My goal of advocating and promoting CLAS programs and the values and skills they produce remains steadfast. The lifelong skills gained through an arts, sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities serves as the foundation for student success. Student success stories like Joy Melgarejo who achieved her dream of earning a degree in psychology and was recently awarded the Fall 2020 President’s Award. Not only does our success show up in student stories, but in 2019-2020 three out of the top ten majors at MSU Denver were CLAS areas of study including Biology, Psychology and English. These anecdotes demonstrate how our campus is made stronger by a liberal arts education and how important it is to generate support for the MSU Denver Faculty Senate Resolution on Supporting a Liberal Arts and Sciences Education.

Building a place of belonging and collective identity. I continue to stand in solidarity with communities of color, show my support, challenge the status quo, and bring change to inequities. Since the Summer 2020, the CLAS Equity and Inclusion Committee has been reviewing all CLAS departments plans to actively engage with and enhance diversity and equity issues within their respective departments. Following this research, the committee made several recommendations for the college as we move forward to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in CLAS and beyond. In Spring 2021, the committee will be drafting its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access Statement and Plan for CLAS. We will be posting this on the newly created CLAS DEI webpage, a hub for all CLAS DEI initiatives and a platform to share DEI resources with the larger campus community. In addition to these college initiatives, I remain committed to the MSU Denver Faculty Senate Resolution on Ensuring a Diverse Faculty at MSU Denver

The Rowdy Report (the official newsletter of MSU Denver CLAS). We distributed our first two issues of the Rowdy Report in October and December 2020. This publication is sent to all CLAS faculty, staff and students and provides information on the latest College and MSU Denver happenings. If you haven’t checked these out, click the links to view: Issue No. 1 (October 2020) and Issue No. 2 (December 2020).

CLAS Student Events. We hosted our first CLAS student event in Fall 2020. The CLAS Student Event Initiative aims to better connect with CLAS students by providing opportunities to learn more about how CLAS supports their roadrunner journey. We will continue our initiative this semester with our inaugural CLAS Graduation Ceremony on Friday, April 30. More details to follow.

We still want to hear your unique stories. Use this submission form to tell us about your Roadrunner journey, faculty or staff that have gone above and beyond, or a topic you’d like to include in the Rowdy Report.

Again, thank you for reading.  I look forward to connecting with you soon. Best wishes on the semester and if you should ever need me, please feel free to reach out.

Jason Janke, Ph.D.

Interim Dean

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Professor of Environmental Science

Metropolitan State University of Denver 

Office: Central 315

Phone: 303-615-0630


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