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Our Academic Mission
The College of Liberal Arts' mission is to provide a transformative academic experience that:
- Encourages rigorous inquiry
- Enables critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Cultivates knowledge in dynamic learning environments
- Ignites awareness and involvement in our interdependent world
- Requires research and creative activities
- Actively engages in continuous improvement
Academic Vision Statement
The College of Liberal Arts exists to prepare students to succeed in a diverse and ever‐changing world through both the substantial core curriculum serviced in CLA and the dynamic knowledge‐based programs offered in the College of Liberal Arts. The college is committed to providing cutting‐edge learning environments which employ innovative and multiple instructional methods that foster successful transformative learning, critical thinking, cultural awareness, and effective communication skills. Provided with a comprehensive discipline knowledge, graduates of CLA are prepared to offer leadership and service to their local and global communities; to continue their creative and scholarly activities throughout their lives and careers, and to live emotionally and intellectually healthy lives.
- Increase students' comprehension in their discipline knowledge
- Engage all students in research and creative activities
- Foster leadership and service learning opportunities for all students
- Provide collaborative opportunities for students with other departments and colleges, with other institutions of learning, and with the metropolitan and global communities.
- Provide healthy, interactive, and technologically state‐of‐the‐art learning environments to accommodate effective, transformative teaching and learning.
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.
J. David Macey, Interim Dean
and the College of Liberal Arts Chairs' Council