Welcome from the Dean
In the College of Liberal Arts, we like to say that we're the heart of the University of Central Oklahoma.
Every day we strive to fulfill UCO’s mission, to “help students learn” through transformative educational experiences. Whatever field you choose, the foundational courses offered by Liberal Arts will be at the center of your college education. A well-rounded body of education is, after all, incomplete without the heart.
A Liberal Arts education will equip you with discipline, knowledge, and a set of skills that are essential to success in the world. We'll prepare you to speak clearly, write well, appreciate differences, ask questions, act ethically, participate, value the past, encounter the present, and create the future.
Everyone at UCO wants you to succeed. Here in the College of Liberal Arts, we actively work to see that through. We pair instruction from faculty with real-world experience to a wide range of activities outside the classroom that enrich your college adventure. We'll help you find your niche with:
- Special Projects
- Film Screenings
- Poetry Readings
- The Annual Sherman Chaddlesone Lecture Series
- The Liberal Arts Symposium
- An Advisory Boards for Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students
- Study Tours
- Traveling Abroad
Meet students that share your interests in one of our organizations or honor societies. Boost your resume with real opportunities for leadership and participation that extend beyond the traditional classroom.
Our college is comprised of eight departments: English; History & Geography; Humanities & Philosophy; Mass Communication; Modern Languages; Political Science; Sociology, Gerontology, and Substance Abuse Studies; and the School of Criminal Justice. All of our departments sponsor numerous scholarships and tuition waivers for our majors and minors. Do you know what that means? Join our community and declare your Liberal Arts major or minor today!
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