School of Arts and Sciences

1998 – 2001 were formative years for our university and Faculty.  Essentially, it meant moving to our new campus and starting a substantial growth process.  During this period I served as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.  When our former dean Attila Askar took on the Vice President position of the university, I was to assume the deanship.  Frankly, I didn’t volunteer for this administrative position, given that I preferred to concentrate fully on my teaching and academic work.  However, not to accept it would have been avoiding responsibility. 

During those years our school was small; we had six departments and fewer faculty.  Everybody knew everybody else.  A significant difference from today’s structure was the existence of the science departments.  In particular, in the process of moving to the new campus, an important development was the establishment of the large physical and natural science laboratories.  As a ‘non-scientist’ dean, I did my best to try to understand the needs of these departments and laboratories and help build them.  Another important difference from what we have now was the existence of the second language programs in our school.  Initially all the students had to take five second language courses to graduate, though some modifications took place later on.  This meant a large number of language instructors working in our school.  It also meant that I had the task of solving some problems among them!

I learned a great deal from serving as the dean during those formative years of growth even if for only one term.  I was also fortunate to be able to have a hand in this progress.

Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Kağıtçıbaşı 

Dean (1998 – 2001)

Since its foundation, a central component of the education at Koç University has been the core programme. This educational philosophy, which prioritizes educating our students in a way that ensures their exposure to schools of thought outside their field, has set us apart from other higher education institutions. Back then, a large part of the core programme was carried out by the School of Arts and Sciences. The interdisciplinary nature of the program not only helped students become more open-minded but also facilitated cooperation between different academic fields. Among endeavors that I enjoyed the most during the time when I was the Dean were establishing three new departments (Philosophy, Archeology and History of Art, and English Language and Comparative Literature), the core programme, improving the foreign language and academic writing programmes and put together a highly academic staff at the college. At the same time, as a scholar who conducts research in basic sciences, my biggest gain was the opportunity get acquainted with research methods and approaches in social sciences.

I’m nostalgically sorry about the separation of the colleges. We could have been much stronger together, but I suppose things change eventually…

Prof. Dr. Ersin Yurtsever

Dean (2001 – 2008)

College of Social Sciences and Humanities

The separation of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and the establishment of three new departments in 2008 was a brave and important move. At a time when most universities around the world were shutting down departments like the ones in our college due to budgetary restrictions and lack of interest in potential students, the value attached to our college not only for educational needs but also with objectives for research was reflecting the ideals of what a university should be. Since then, besides founding three new departments and the department of Media and Visual Arts later on, we also founded centers like Social Policy, Women and Gender Studies, Byzantine Studies, and Mediterranean Studies, as well as doctoral degree programs in Psychology, Archaeology and History of Art, Sociology, and Design, Technology and Society.  The development in the institution that I have worked as a faculty member since its inception was beyond all predictions and expectations.  It was surprising even to me even though I was in the middle of all that.  This rapid and dynamic development is an indication of the potential of the individuals who compose the college. The prestigious status of our college today was attained thanks to faculty members who are competent in their fields, who conduct work that is at the same level as the outstanding institutions of the world, and most importantly, who value their students and spend time with them, who emphasize high quality education, and who achieve the highest standards in their areas.  This same group of faculty members is the assurance for continued improvement and renewal in the future.

Prof. Dr. Sami Gülgöz

Dean (2008 – 2014)