THINK, COMMUNICATE, EVALUATE, APPRECIATE
Last November, in the midst of the political news cycle, an event transpired in Kenrick Hall that received no media attention but will have lasting significance nonetheless: the faculty of the School of Arts voted for change. No, we didn’t decide to lend our support to those torchbearers of novelty, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Our ambitions were far more radical, to be sure. Rather, after much deliberation and introspection, we approved, as a body, a revision of the School’s mission statement.
(Are those gasps of astonishment I hear?)
Perhaps you were unaware that we had one. If so, don’t feel too bad—you probably had other things to think about. Still, we believe you ought to know that we’ve been thinking about it, and more concretely, that we’ve been endeavoring to articulate the values and goals shared in common by the six academic departments comprising the School of Arts. This was no easy task. The School’s programs in the behavioral sciences, humanities, visual and performing arts, and education are methodologically diverse, to say the least. Considering that a good mission statement will unite an institution’s activities through a common set of ideals, it is little wonder that the previous mission for the School was two paragraphs in length. As such, it was long enough to capture accurately each department’s goals and values, but as we came to agree, it was also too long to provide effective guidance that could unify our activities.
Let me be clear that we are indebted to the vision and expression of our predecessors. Even more so, we are inspired by the charism of the Christian Brothers whose educational mission very much informs our work in and out of the classroom. We hope and believe that much of the meaning of the old mission has been retained in the new. As such, we hope that our new statement will sustain the traditions and collegiality that have defined the School of Arts for so long and will have a lasting impact in how we adapt and execute our academic programs in the dynamic landscape of the Twenty-First Century. Thus, in November, the faculty approved the following:
“The mission of the School of Arts at Christian Brothers University is to advance the Lasallian synthesis of knowledge and service by teaching students to think, to communicate, to evaluate and to appreciate.”
In the coming issues of the newsletter, we will reflect on these core values of the School of Arts, showcasing the variety of ways they appear in the achievements of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. We are eager to share with you our stories of academic success, community engagement, and discoveries of the richness of our community and world. These are the ideals shared by our community, and we hope that you will support us in embracing them.
Paul Haught, Dean
School of Arts