Undergraduate Education: Expanding Beyond the Classroom

An education in the arts and sciences—of the broad plus deep, “t-shaped” sort that we provide our students in the College of Arts & Sciences at Boston University–trains students to frame experience through theoretical, disciplinary lenses, to interpret and evaluate the sources and meaning of evidence, and to appreciate the lessons taught by history and… More

Building Out Our Intellectual Themes

Early in my time as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, I began to formulate themes to describe and guide the future of the arts and sciences at Boston University. I presented these themes in our first faculty meeting last academic year, and I have written about each theme in this forum over… More

Climbing the Mountain: The BU Hub

Climbing a 14’er is one of my favorite challenges, and the view from the top is always worth the effort. It involves much preparation, double-checking my list of essential gear, getting up early and setting off in the early morning darkness, and starting out on the trail uncertain about whether the summit can be reached… More

Civic Activism and Liberal Education

One of the most important things that a liberal education offers students is training in the habits and capacities needed to be informed and engaged citizens, which may mean engaging in direct political action. During Alumni Weekend, I was privileged to interview Tipper Gore (CAS ’70) before a large crowd in the Tsai Auditorium. When… More

Focus on Faculty

Our first CAS faculty meeting will be Wednesday, September 13, at 3:30 pm in the Law Auditorium (new location). In addition to my overview of our goals for the year, it will feature the introduction of new faculty and remembrances of faculty members we have lost in the past year. According to our new bylaws,… More

Our Mission in Dangerous Times

This fall we find ourselves in a new, more dangerous and divisive social and political context than this time last year. We face multiple social divisions that challenge us to reaffirm our commitment to evidence, truth, and ethical leadership.… More

Engaging with Our Community

My travels this summer took me to Israel to attend the inaugural Jerusalem Deans’ Workshop on “The University as a Neighbor” at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. There I met with deans and faculty from Hebrew University and with public officials, including the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat.… More

Remembering Susan Jackson

Professor Susan Jackson passed away peacefully on June 30, surrounded by her loving family, including her husband Richard, son Nathaniel, and daughter Hannah. At the time of her death, Susan was assistant provost for general education implementation; before that, she served as the senior associate dean in charge of undergraduate curriculum and policy in the College of… More

Reflecting on the Academic Year’s Achievements

If you ever have any doubt about whether we in the College of Arts & Sciences succeed in conveying to our students our commitment to critical thinking, understanding, and truth, whether they share our passion for liberal education, then all you need to do is read about student speaker Maxwell Robidoux’s Commencement 2017 Speech. Max graduated… More

Celebrating Advising

Last week, at the final College of Arts & Sciences faculty meeting of 2016-17, I had the pleasure of honoring eight faculty members with awards for excellence in teaching or advising. At the end of the previous academic year I focused my dean’s note on the teaching awards; today I want to focus on academic… More