College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Teaching Liberal Education

If ever our city flourished with respect to liberal studies, now it flourishes especially. There are many famous examples. I’ll mention one, the philosopher Euphrates. I tried once in Syria to make him my friend, but there wasn’t any difficulty. He’s accessible and open and filled with humanity. He argues simply, authoritatively, elegantly. His speech is eloquent but varied. There is no roughness in his style, no harshness. But I sit in my official capacity, I settle accounts, I write many letters. I am accustomed to complaining about these tasks with Euphrates. He gives me this consolation—this is a beautiful aspect of philosophy: to conduct public business, to recognize, judge, produce, and administer justice. Nevertheless he had not persuaded me!

                  --Pliny, while prefect of the Roman treasury, as translated by Melissa Morison

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is committed to setting a standard of excellence in liberal education. Because the liberal arts and sciences that we teach are essential arts for living, we seek to prepare our students to be responsible citizens, productive professionals, and lifelong learners with global perspective.

2011 Annual Report: Teaching & Learningin the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences PDF


Below are examples of how CLAS faculty members practice liberal education in their classrooms.

Statistics and Its Contribution to a Liberal Education, Paul Stephenson, Statistics

Teaching the Liberal Arts: Department of Classics, Diane Rayor

Liberal Education in Political Science and International Relations

Liberal Education in Physics

Liberal Education and the English Department

Barbara Roos, School of Communications, has produced a series of videos on Liberal Education which can be accessed on Vimeo

Teaching in the Tradition of Liberal Education, Peter Anderson, Classics

Valerie Peterson, School of Communications

Steve Tripp, History

Department of Geography and Planning

Janet Vail, Annis Water Research Institute (AWRI)

Ted Sunstrom, Professor, Mathematics

Charles Pazdernik, Associate Professor of Classics

Kelly Parker, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Ronald Loeffler, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Coeli Fitzpatrick, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Kevin Cole, Associate Professor of Geology

Anthropology Department

Sandra Portko, Professor of Psychology

Brian Lakey, Professor of Psychology

Liberal Education and History Courses, Frances A. Kelleher

Page last modified September 20, 2011