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Welcome from the Dean

Welcome to the College of Arts and Letters at Old Dominion University. Our College is a world of learning and creativity, a world where the pursuit for knowledge and inspiration never ends, where endless opportunities begin. Our departments, centers and institutes provide a gateway to a number of programs and courses developed by some of America’s leading researchers, artists and scholars. Our high-quality discipline-based and interdisciplinary programs are strengthened by opportunities to study abroad. When students come to us we seek to challenge their imagination, to develop their creative abilities and to encourage them to indulge in their curiosity. Our ultimate aim is to produce graduates who can both pursue a successful career, and at the same time become caring and productive citizens in their communities.

Our students are found pursuing their careers all over the world and our mission is influenced by our location in the port city of Norfolk, a premier gateway to the United States and the world. We celebrate in the diversity of both our students and our teacher-scholars and pride ourselves on the breadth and global reach of our programs, delivered through both traditional on-campus instruction and distance learning. However, we remain committed to serving our base community in the Hampton Roads area and in Virginia through a number of outreach initiatives.

Many of you visit our web pages because you are alumni and parents of students who wish to follow our progress. Many of you are prospective students who want to know more about our academic programs or about a specific department. I hope each of you find what you are looking for here. We have much to be proud of and much to offer.

Chandra R. de Silva


Chandra R. de Silva became Dean of the College of Arts and Letters on June 25, 2003.Chandra r. de silva

Dr. de Silva joined Old Dominion University in 1998 as professor and chair of the Department of History. During his tenure, he strengthened the research productivity of the department and enhanced collaboration with the Darden College of Education. Previously, Dr. de Silva served as chair of the department of History at Indiana State University from 1991 to 1998, and as Visiting Professor in History and Asian Studies at Bowdoin College from 1989 to 1991. Prior to that he was a member of the governing University Council and dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.

Dr. de Silva earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Ceylon, and a doctoral degree in History from the University of London. His publications include two monographs, ten edited books, more than 70 book chapters and articles, and over 50 book reviews. He is an expert on Portuguese colonial history and the history, religion and politics of Sri Lanka. He expects to continue to teach and publish during his administrative career.