e-Conversation. the newsletter of the School of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas

Creating the Future of Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities Dean Dennis Kratz

At a time when many programs in the humanities are struggling, we are thriving. For example, as the chart illustrates, since 2001 the School of Arts and Humanities has experienced the largest percent change in undergraduate enrollment in the university. Our graduate programs have experienced dramatic growth as well.

We owe our success, in part, to the process of creative transformation to which we are committed. Reproducing old models and structures will not provide the education that today's students need. The School of Arts and Humanities has embraced the dual challenge of creating a new model of higher education that preserves the most profound and positive aspects of the humanistic tradition, while transforming it into a vehicle that prepares students more effectively for the technologically saturated, globally connected and change intensive world of the 21st century.

A&H Chart

We have developed and continue to imagine new majors and programs that preserve the core values of the humanities, while fostering competencies such as the application of advanced technology to the humanities and arts, communication and understanding across cultural differences, and the intellectual agility necessary to respond to unexpected opportunities.

The most recent manifestation of our philosophy is the Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology that we established to address, from a wide range of perspectives, the ways in which emerging technologies are and could be - transforming modern society and our contemporary values.

One change resulting from that intersection is a renewed emphasis on the importance of creativity in all aspects of contemporary society. And so I am pleased to announce that C4V will sponsor this spring an innovative lecture series, part of an integrated plan to expand our educational outreach to the greater community, devoted to the nature and role of creativity.

The extraordinary teacher and scholar Dr. Luis Martín, PhD, has joined our faculty of C4V as director of a new outreach project. Martin will be teaching a spring seminar dedicated to the culture of Spain.

Led by Martín, Dr. Magdalena Grohman, assistant director of C4V and our Advisory Board, C4V is making ambitious plans to make UT Dallas a dynamic hub of conversation, education and research at the intersection of the humanities, science and technology.

And let me conclude 2009 with a marvelous piece of good news. In addition to the other major donations to the School, Mr. Russell Cleveland, CEO of RennCapital Investments, and longtime supporter of our highly successful guitar program, has funded the creation of the Russell Cleveland Endowed Professorship for Guitar Studies. Thank you, Russell!

I hope that all the news of success and achievement will prompt you to continue supporting (or begin supporting!) our efforts to make UT Dallas a truly great university. We promise, of course, to continue evolving, educating and creating the future of the arts and humanities.

Dennis Kratz, Dean
School of Arts and Humanities