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Monday, November 28, 2016

We are UGE

The t-shirts we give incoming students are emblazoned with “WE ARE LIBERAL ARTS.” It’s proud; it’s unapologetic; it’s in your face. I like it. In the process of trying to create an “annual report” for the Office of Undergraduate Education, I had to come to grips with who were are in UGE, and come to grips with it in such a way that I can explain to outsiders who we are and what we do. It took me seven pages to list our primary areas along with brief explanations what we do in those areas and how many people work in those areas.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Budget Basics for UGE

CLA Undergraduate Education is a big unit with a big budget. There seems to be a lot of mystery, folklore, and curiosity about our budget, and CLA budgeting more generally, so here is a brief introduction to the budget in CLA and UGE.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


CLA administration had a seven hole mini-golf course laid out in Johnston Hall on October 28 as part of the Community Fund Drive. I won’t tell you my score, but Katie Clark was overall winner across the seven holes. Congratulations, Katie! More importantly, this was a record-setting event in terms of raising money for the fund drive. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Freedom to speak/freedom from fear

In the past couple of years, we have seen a re-ignition of the age-old debate and conflict between free speech and what I might call freedom from fear. We all know about freedom of speech; even disgusting, hateful, hurtful, vile speech has the right to be uttered with few restrictions (e.g., inciting lawless or violent action). FDR had “freedom from fear” as one of his four freedoms, and in his context the fear was fear of neighboring nations. In our student-oriented academic context, I would say that freedom from fear is the provision of an environment in which all in our community are welcome and comfortable in being themselves. These two important freedoms can easily be, and often are, in opposition. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

UGE Shout-outs at the State of the College Address

Dean John Coleman gave his annual State of the College address at the CLA Assembly meeting on September 20, 2016. For those who were unable to attend, the text of his message can be found here (in John’s blog). John has a very nice exposition on how the liberal arts build empathy and compassion, imagination, and community. For those who were unable to attend and who are impatient, let me just summarize by saying that Undergraduate Education received several shout-outs for our accomplishments over the past couple of years.