Message from the Dean
Creating the Next Generation of Problem Solvers
Our College focuses on helping students understand the integral connections between their college education and their readiness to tackle the “big questions” or “grand challenges,” both contemporary and enduring. We know that selecting an area of study can be challenging. Many students are conflicted by their desire to study something they love and to study something that will lead to a successful career. But these goals are not mutually exclusive. Our College's mantra is “Love Your Major.” We encourage you to study what you are passionate about. At the same time, we encourage you to begin your college career by asking yourself this important question: “What Problem Do I Want to Solve?” Addressing this priority challenges this basic division within higher education that sees education as either preparation for specific careers or as the more abstract attainment of acquiring a rich understanding of the world. In the College of Arts and Sciences, we aim to do both, and answering that question will help you better understand the practical knowledge you need to succeed in a diverse and complicated world, ready to confront differences of opinion, and armed with the power to question and the potential to shape human experience and human destiny.
The message delivered to 2014 graduates reflects the tremendous power of a liberal arts degree. Dr. Penny Sackett, a world-renowned astrophysicist and 1978 physics graduate, explained best the value of a liberal arts degree: “A degree in Arts and Sciences does not so much certify you to make a living in a given field, as give you a language with which to make a life in a new land of discovery and contribution.”
So maybe you want to solve global environmental change or social and economic inequality; maybe you want to work in healthcare to save lives and improve people’s quality of life or work to improve human rights around the world; maybe you want to study literature and history or work in strategic deterrence and assurance; or maybe you want to work in government or law or work with companies to solve their data problems—we have careers of study to help you solve many of our world’s challenges. So, what problem do you want to solve?
On our website you can learn about our College—about the departments, majors, minors, pre-professional programs, faculty, alumni, and others who form the collective College. You can read about some of our amazing students and learn about outstanding opportunities our College provides—from intense first-year seminars, to research experiences, community engagement, and internships. To learn more about our campus, please explore the campus virtual tour, or better yet, come visit us. I promise, our campus is even more beautiful than it looks in photographs.
David Boocker, Dean and Professor of English