Message from the Dean

Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti, Ph.D.
Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti, Ph.D.

En español

Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences at California Lutheran University.

As Dean of the College, I am honored to work with such a strong faculty and staff whose dedication to the education of our students is evident in the classroom and beyond. Our faculty come to us from the finest universities and have chosen California Lutheran as their intellectual home because they and the College are committed to teaching and research in ways that will enhance the lives of our students both now and in the future.

The Truman Commission on Higher Education, in 1947, said, “Education is by far the biggest and most hopeful of the Nation’s enterprises.” This is still true today. A liberal arts education in the 21st Century combines the traditions of classical antiquity (4th Century B.C. Greece) with the hands-on, practical approach contemporary times demand. The analytical skills, effective communication, ethical judgement, and social responsibility that comprise the essence of a liberal arts education at Cal Lutheran, allow for leadership, discovery, and innovation as the world rapidly changes around us.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, we are here to help students like you grapple with the need to understand who we are, where we come from, and our connectedness to one another. A distinctive element of Cal Lutheran, as a Lutheran university, is its commitment to the idea that a liberal arts education frees us to serve others. Martin Luther called this idea berufung — "calling" or "vocation." In other words, as my predecessor said, you become most fully yourself when you use your talents to contribute to the welfare of the community and the environment.

The College offers 31 undergraduate majors and 31 minors in the creative arts, natural sciences, technology, humanities, and social sciences. The College is home to Cal Lutheran’s Honors Program; the Center for Equality and Justice, which brings together organizations and individuals to collaborate for equitable social change; CLU’s yearly Festival of Scholars; the Harold Stoner Clark lecture series; the SEEd (Sustainable Edible Education) project; Community Literacy project; along with programs and opportunities in experiential learning, service learning, study abroad, and career-related internships. Finally, the College is also home to Cal Lutheran’s Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival – which has been presenting professional programs and performances of the works of William Shakespeare for the education and entertainment of people of all ages since 1997.

I look forward to seeing you on campus and to speaking with you. If you have any questions or ideas you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at

Dr. Lavariega Monforti

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences