College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Academic Philosophy

The basic mission of CLASS is vitally important to the university. The subjects that our faculty study and teach are the heart of a well-rounded education. Human nature is the unifying focus of our disciplines. The social sciences study how human beings function in groups, how groups and societies interact with each other, and how groups empower or marginalize individuals or subgroups. The humanities explore how humans perceive themselves and the world, how belief systems and values inform the judgments and the choices people make, and how we communicate. And the fine arts reveal humans at their most creative—in their ability to shape and transform how we see, hear, and order the world around us. Such knowledge is fundamental to a high quality of life. It helps us become more culturally alive, and it also gives us the broad intellectual resources to help us analyze complex problems and to make difficult moral and social choices. In addition, it prepares us to earn a living. Indeed, because the economy is changing rapidly, the specific jobs skills of today may not be the same as those required tomorrow. An education in the liberal arts and social sciences, which prepares students with broad knowledge and transferable skills, is most likely to help students not only to find a place in the current economy but also to create new places for themselves as the economy grows and changes.

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