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Welcome to the College of Liberal Arts
The College of Liberal Arts fulfills UCO’s mission to help students learn by educating productive, creative, ethical, and involved citizens and leaders who speak clearly, write well, appreciate differences, ask questions, value the past, engage with the present, create the future, and contribute in meaningful ways in the intellectual and civic life of the community.
The College of Liberal Arts incudes the School of Criminal Justice and the Departments of English; History and Geography; Humanities and Philosophy; Mass Communication; Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultural Studies; Political Science; and Sociology, Gerontology, and Substance Abuse Studies.
The College of Liberal Arts provides a wide range of scholarships, tuition-waivers, support services, and co-curricular activities including student organizations, guest speakers, and service and outreach activities that promote the success of students in Core Curriculum classes and in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in the Liberal Arts.
We encourage you to explore these pages and to learn more about why the Liberal Arts are the heart of the university!
We in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Central Oklahoma add our voices to the growing chorus that calls for change at the local, regional, and national level. The frequent killings of unarmed Black people, including the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, have brought much-needed attention to the Black Lives Matter movement across the country and compels all of us stand with the Black community and indeed all People of Color.
The College supports our students, faculty and staff who have participated in the actions – demonstrations, marches, and meetings (in-person and virtual) – that support the call for change on national, regional, and local levels in order to challenge—and, ultimately, to eliminate—systemic racism, the unchecked abuse of institutional power, and the overt and covert discrimination that continue to make such tragedies not only possible but devastatingly frequent. The College of Liberal Arts believes Black Lives Matter.
We are also called to action. Please know that the College of Liberal Arts has made and will continue to make changes that move issues of diversity and inclusion to the fore. These changes include:
- The establishment in 2019 of an annual Faculty and Staff Forum to introduce concepts of unconscious bias and “normalized” racism to a large audience
- Support for Faculty and Staff reading groups to explore texts that associated with our disciplines to augment underrepresented student voices.
- The appointment of an Assistant Dean in the College with specific responsibilities related to diversity and inclusion
- The reconsideration of the College’s Mission and Vision statements to reflect an active stance with regard to an experience that acknowledges the rich diversity and lived experience of our students as we guide them along their academic paths
- The intentional infusion of equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the College’s practices, including but not limited to curriculum, assessment, and faculty and staff searches.
- The regular self-assessment and reporting of efforts and actions toward achieving a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community through departmental and college self-assessment.
- Individual efforts on the part of each of our academic units – the seven departments and the school that comprise the College.
- Coordination with University efforts including the Committee on Diversity and the newly-formed Inclusive Community Response Team.
Systemic racism is insidious – and is a burden that Black people and People of Color have had to bear for far too long. We are aware that education and action in systemic racism needs to be a continuing process. Black Lives Matter and other social justice movement have taught us that when we know better, we do better and that we do better when we act together. We will be listening to our faculty and students as new issues and opportunities for improvement arise. We invite everyone – members of the faculty and staff, as well as current and former students – to join us as we move our college, and indeed the university, forward.
Dean Catherine Webster
with unanimous support of the CLA Chairs' Council