A few weeks ago I sent out a message to the campus community about this year’s conversation, stemming from the strategic plan, on W&M being a liberal arts university in the 21st century. The first event is now slated for this coming Thursday (October 29th), 3:30-5:00 in Tidewater A of the Sadler Center.
To provoke discussion, we have set as the topic, “Is a Liberal Arts University Possible?: William and Mary in the 21st Century.” Four faculty will provide different—at times very different—perspectives on this question: Herrington Bryce, Business; Keith Griffoen, Physics; Lisa Meyer, History; and Joel Schwartz, Government/Charles Center.
This topic raises many questions, including fundamental ones such as “What do we mean by a liberal arts university? What are the implications of having this as our identity? What possibilities follow from this? What pressures—internal and external—will make it challenging? Rewarding?
The format is that the four faculty will post a brief statement of their position on the Web, accessible in advance. They will present a short oral version of their ideas and then Q&A from the audience and from the panelists will lead to broad and, I trust, lively discussion.
I have the pleasure of serving as the moderator. Unlike in the case of the “Raft Debate,” no one is left behind on the “island;” all good ideas can advance. Which means we need you there.
Join the conversation: see you this Thursday and on this blog.
Michael R. Halleran