From the Desk of the Dean
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For those who have devoted their lives to teaching, learning, and innovation in the arts and sciences, it likely comes as no surprise that there has been a revaluing and devaluing of the work of students and faculty in the arts and sciences fields. In response Mary Anne Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth A. Say offer From the Desk of the Dean, an anthology of original essays by arts and sciences deans and former deans addressing the increasing demands for vocational education at the expense of the liberal arts and sciences. This informative collection examines the challenges in higher education and offers a compelling case for the value of the liberal arts and sciences.

To honor the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), the largest association of arts and sciences deans in the country, editors Fitzpatrick and Say, both past presidents of CCAS, have assembled nine essays as well as three section introductions to create From the Desk of the Dean. Their goal is to prompt open discussions about American higher education and the perceived value of degrees in the basic arts and science fields. Many agree that to the public an accounting degree is of greater value than an art history degree and a civil engineering degree has more value than a degree in physics.

The contributors to the volume include deans with experience working at public and private universities, large research universities, comprehensive teaching institutions, as well as scholarly and advocacy groups. Their essays, informed by their experiences as leaders who support excellence in teaching, research, and creative activity in the basic fields of human knowledge, examine the many criticisms of higher education and of the faculty and programs in arts and sciences.

Sally Mason, president emerita of the University of Iowa, provides a foreword.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 juin 2017
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781611178425
Langue English

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From the Desk of the Dean
Mary Anne Fitzpatrick and Elizabeth A. Say
Foreword by Sally Mason

Publication is made possible in part by the generous support of the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences .
2017 University of South Carolina
Published by the University of South Carolina Press
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
can be found at
ISBN: 978-1-61117-841-8 (cloth)
ISBN: 978-1-61117-842-5 (ebook)
Front cover image: MilosJokic /
The Liberal Arts Agenda, Deans, and Deaning
Past Is Prologue: CCAS and Deaning after Fifty Years
Storytelling and the Deanship
Pursuit of a Liberal Education-a Personal Story
Calls to Action
The Role of Community Colleges in Liberal Arts Education
Advocating for the Humanities and Social Sciences
The Academic Arms Race, Individualism, and the Arts and Sciences
Predicting the Future: The Next Fifty Years for Education in the Arts and Sciences
Narratives of the Humanities
Pathways, Potholes, and Partnerships: Rethinking the Future of Graduate Education
Enhancing Global-U.S. Academic Partnerships: The Case of South Africa
Epilogue: Interdisciplinary Education through the Liberal Arts
In the pages that follow, a compelling case is made for the continuing importance of the liberal arts and sciences. For those of us who have spent our lives pursuing teaching, learning, and innovating in the arts and sciences, much of this will come as no surprise. But what will resonate is the thorough and diverse ways in which this topic is approached.
Understanding the historical perspective of this nation s foremost organization of liberal arts deans and the advocacy role that the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences plays in promoting, defending, and growing liberal arts education is crucial to the essays that follow, as deans and practitioners of long standing speak out on topics intended to inform from facts and data and from personal stories.
While no one can predict the future, we can see the past clearly. We are regularly reminded and warned that higher education generally is in a state of flux, perhaps even at a tipping point. Change is the order of the day, and disruption is a major driver of change. We are told that our business models are broken or at least minimally functional, and that what we offer to our students (and their parents) costs too much and provides too few guarantees of a prosperous future.
Change is, in fact, a given, just as evolution is a fact. Higher education is in a constant state of change and innovation, for we are the agents of change, and we are the innovators! Our business models will evolve and diversify, and like so many other industries, some will thrive, many will change, and some may cease to exist.
The success of postsecondary education in the United States has been diversification of the ways in which it is offered. Sorting and selection based on quality, cost, and reputation are very natural human-driven processes. We continue to offer something that much of the world envies and emulates, and at the heart of this success is a liberal arts foundation that nurtures innovation and innovators.
I am and was a student of the liberal arts, and my B.A. degree in zoology provided a first step on the ladder to an amazing career. Like so many of my peers, I am a first-generation college student who believed that education would unlock the doors to a bright future. I have served as a professor, first and foremost, and then as a department chair, as dean of a college of arts and sciences, and as provost and chief academic officer at one of this nation s great land-grant universities, and most recently as president of the University of Iowa, home of the famed Writer s Workshop and originator of the M.F.A. degree. The liberal arts have served me well on this path and today provide me with opportunities to give back to others who may aspire to similar paths.
I urge you to read on and be inspired by the passion of those who advocate on behalf of liberal arts education. You may be surprised by some of the stories and data and facts, but most of all I hope you will be impressed by the relevance of these essays today and well into the future.
A collaboration such as this has multiple benefits, not the least of which is the pleasure that comes from thinking together about matters of import with a trusted colleague. Such a collaboration also extends the network of institutions, colleagues, friends, and family that made this volume possible. If we have overlooked anyone, there is room for finger-pointing.
We first acknowledge the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), which for fifty years has provided support, professional development, and programming in support of the work of arts and science deans. Throughout its history the organization has found a home at several different institutions of higher education, including the University of Wyoming, Pennsylvania State University, Kansas State University, Ohio State University, and Arizona State University. For the past decade CCAS has resided at the College of William and Mary. Both editors have benefitted enormously from our membership in CCAS, from opportunities to serve the academy though participation on the board of directors, and from the generosity of decanal colleagues met through the organization-several of whom have contributed to this volume.
We also want to thank our respective institutions, the University of South Carolina and California State University, Northridge, for the support provided that has enabled us to devote time in service to CCAS. In particular we want to recognize President Harris Pastides (USC), and President Emeritus Jolene Koester and President Dianne Harrison (CSUN) for their inspired leadership of our respective universities and their commitment to supporting the additional responsibilities we took on as presidents of CCAS.
Two individuals provided invaluable insight through the careful reading of essays in this book: Allen Miller, vice provost and director of Global Carolina, USC; and Harold Hellenbrand, provost emeritus, CSUN. Their labors helped hone arguments and sharpen the focus of the book. Mary Anne also extends deep thanks to her mentor, Phillip R. Certain, dean emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and to the senior staff of the College of Arts and Sciences (2005-15), who inspired her with their dedication and commitment to the liberal arts.
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who helped turn a disparate collection of essays into a cohesive manuscript through their careful editing of this work. Jennifer E. Lee and Azure Star Glover were both M.A. students in English rhetoric and composition at CSUN and brought sharp eyes to the mechanics of these contributions. We are happy to say that they have both graduated and gone on to gainful employment! Markie Gaddis, executive assistant in the Office of System Planning at USC, wove all parts of the manuscript into a seamless whole.
Finally we recognize those members of our families who create the emotional and intellectual space that allows us to do our work. Mary Anne thanks Roman and Moira Kyweluk, and Elizabeth thanks Linda A. Moody.
This collection of essays celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), the largest association of arts and sciences deans in the United States. The association was founded in protest in 1965 after the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities [APLU]) voted to include the concerns of engineering and agricultural deans, but not arts and sciences deans, in their legislative advocacy programs. Arts and sciences deans withdrew and formed a new organization dedicated to political advocacy. For fifty years CCAS has provided networking and training opportunities for deans of arts and science colleges and served as a forum for discussions of contemporary challenges in higher education.
Both of the editors of this book have served on the board of directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and both have recently had the honor of serving the association as president. Mary Anne Fitzpatrick (CCAS president 2012-13) is a social scientist and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science who has spent her career as a faculty member, a chair, a dean, a vice provost, and a vice president at two flagship research universities, the University of Wisconsin and the University of South Carolina. Elizabeth Say (CCAS president 2014-15) is a humanities scholar with broad interdisciplinary training who has spent her career as a faculty member, chair, and dean in a college of humanities at one of California s great public comprehensive universities, California State University, Northridge.
When the CCAS board realized that we were approaching the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the association, we decided that the appropriate way to honor that milestone was to work together on a book collecting the observations and insights of arts and science deans on the history and future of arts and science education. Our shared commitment to advocacy and leadership in the arts and sciences has made working together on this project an enjoyable and enlightening experience. And our different backgrounds as scholars and as administrators in universities with different missions and foci have helped to bring different points of view to this work.
This volume draws together the voices of current and past deans and administrators of arts and science colleges and also academic leaders with strong liberal arts backgrounds. We have collected the reflections of thoughtful administrators and scholars who have led important institutions of higher learning. Although written by deans and often addressing the challenges facing arts and sciences, this book is for all who are interested in postsecondary education, especially an education that aims for more than simply preparing students to play a specific role in the economy. In advocating for the importance of the liberal arts, the authors do not shy away from discussing the serious issues facing all of higher education today.
But why a book by deans? Academic deans sit at the perfect position in the educational system. In large universities, whether public or private, arts and sciences deans are usually the head of the largest school or college in their institution in terms of credit hours, numbers of courses offered, and numbers of students served. Deans are the chief academic and operating officers of their colleges, whose primary responsibilities include: strategic planning and policy development; faculty, staff, and student recruitment, retention, and support; resource development, budget development, management, and allocation; academic program development and review; and external relations. These deans are dedicated to the advancement of basic disciplines that are distinct from technical or professional ones.
Given the breadth of the fields represented in the colleges, deans of arts and sciences collaborate broadly across the university to provide basic undergraduate courses for all students, develop interdisciplinary centers and institutes involving faculty across the university, and raise external research dollars and philanthropy funds to support the core research and academic mission. In addition to being scholars in a particular field, deans have a role within their institutions that demands not only that they have an understanding of many fields of study but also that they follow the general movements and trends in the disciplines of the liberal arts and sciences as well as the changing entrance requirements of professional schools as these impact the design of courses in arts and sciences. Moreover, as arts and science colleges provide most of the first- and second-year courses for students, it is these deans and colleges that have the responsibility of helping students to transition to the academic norms of the university.
Where can these deans be found? In general professional schools have fairly consistent names from university to university. Schools of business or medicine or public health or colleges of engineering are easily identified by name. Deans who lead arts and science colleges may actually head units with names that are somewhat idiosyncratic to their institutions. Table 1 lists the names, institutions, and college names of the past seventeen presidents of CCAS.
TABLE 1. Sixteen Years of CCAS Presidents
Phillip R. Certain, University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters and Science
Sally Frost Mason, University of Kansas College of Arts and Sciences
Holly M. Smith, University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Lee Edwards, University of Massachusetts at Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts
P. Geoffrey Feiss, College of William and Mary
Roosevelt Newson, Illinois State University College of College of Fine Arts
Dorothy Abrahamse, California State University-Long Beach College of Liberal Arts
Julia Wallace, University of Northern Iowa College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Joe Gow, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse College of Liberal Arts
Matthew C. Moen, University of South Dakota College of Arts and Sciences
Denise A. Battles, University of Northern Colorado College of Natural and Health Sciences
Paul B. Bell Jr., University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences
Vickie Rutledge Shields, Eastern Washington University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Social Work
Valerie Gray Hardcastle, University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences
Mary Anne T. Fitzpatrick, University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences
Nancy A. Gutierrez, University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Elizabeth Say, California State University, Northridge College of Humanities
Six of the recent presidents headed colleges of arts and sciences that included all the major humanities (for example, English, philosophy), social sciences (for example, political science, psychology), art (for example, art, theater, music) natural science (for example, chemistry, physics), and mathematical sciences (for example, mathematics, statistics) disciplines. Two more deans on the list also headed colleges of this breadth (Certain and Gutierrez) although their colleges had slightly different names (Letters and Science; Liberal Arts and Sciences). The remaining seven college names represent the fact that at some point in the history of the university where they are located, a large college of arts and sciences split into two or even three smaller colleges (for example, fine arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural and health sciences).
Although written by deans, this book is for all who are interested in postsecondary education, especially an education that aims for more than simply preparing students to play a specific role in the workforce. The authors of this book have been leaders at a variety of different types of colleges and universities-research universities to community colleges, public and private, old and new, in this country and abroad. The range of diversity of their experiences brings a variety of points of view not covered in other volumes.
As we write this introduction, we are in the midst of a series of debates about the role and purpose of postsecondary education in the United States. Popular books question whether college is worth the investment of time and money. Critics complain that universities are not providing education in the core competencies needed for success in the twenty-first century. The public has lost faith in universities.
Various solutions are offered to the high cost of a college education. Perhaps more students should attend technical schools rather than four-year colleges so that they can develop job-related skills. Distance education may be an inexpensive way to increase the number of students who attain college degrees. Such degrees are developed without the cost of brick-and-mortar buildings and face-to-face interaction with professors and other students. Many of these degrees are offered by for-profit educational institutions that have low entry barriers into a variety of graduate and undergraduate programs. Some institutions are allowing students to demonstrate competency and receive college credit based on life experiences.
Not all these solutions can be summarily dismissed as we need a variety of types and kinds of solutions to increase college attainment in the United States. Some of these programs are necessary, creative, and of high quality, and some are not. Some of the programs, even when carefully designed and of high quality, are not suitable or effective for particular types of students. Graduation rates are low as are pass rates for certification tests. Analyzing the impact of various programs, discovering which programs work for which students, and analyzing the quality of these emerging alternatives to the traditional models of delivery and credentialing is a key responsibility of the educational establishment. Cutting costs while maintaining program quality is not easy and in some disciplines and with some types of students may be impossible.
More established educational institutions can also learn from these innovations by examining what works when with what group of students. Using technology wisely to facilitate learning, for example, is important for all our educational institutions at all levels. Developing more flexibility in the timing of our programs and giving students the ability to finish college earlier than the canonical four years (or five or six) is becoming a national movement as universities try to develop summer school as a new semester. With the On Your Time program, the University of South Carolina has become an early innovator in this movement.
All the authors in this volume share three basic assumptions, and these undergird many of the key arguments of the book.
First, no university or college can be considered great without great programs in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences. This statement does not mean that all the programs in each area need to be great, as few universities have the resources for such a commitment. But we owe our students and our communities the chance to experience excellence in these basic fields. A university may invest heavily in theater or dance and less so in art or music, but it maintains a commitment to funding and supporting the arts. In maintaining that commitment, we demonstrate the larger enduring value of creative work for society.
Second, understanding basic processes, principles, and approaches in depth is vital to solving the problems that confront society. Fifty years ago APLU was shortsighted in its move to represent only engineering and agriculture. Technology cannot solve the problems of society without the basic research that leads to its development and application. For example, without the development of new materials that takes place in chemistry labs, it is impossible to engineer them for applied uses; and without theoretical mathematics, it is not possible to solve many practical problems. Even when new technologies and solutions are discovered, the adoption of these innovations can be problematic. Science and medicine have shown us how to develop clean water systems, how to limit unwanted pregnancies, and how to stop the spread of AIDS. But without the work of those who understand cultures, mores, social institutions, languages, and ethical systems of people we would hope to serve, we will not solve the grand challenges that face our world.
The third assumption undergirding many of the arguments in the book is that a college degree or beyond is the key to long-term success not only for an individual but for American society. The current popular focus on evaluating the value of a college degree based on the individual s starting salary in his or her first job is myopic at best.
The book is divided into three parts. Each part begins with an introduction by the editors to the general issues in the area facing higher education today and highlights of the essays. The first part of this book is The Liberal Arts Agenda, Deans, and Deaning. This part begins with the history of CCAS. Included in this part are observations about the meaning and purpose of higher education by two deans who have led colleges of arts and sciences at large, well-respected institutions.
The second part of the book is Calls to Action and is focused on advocacy. One of the key roles for college and university administrators that has crystallized in the past twenty years is that of advocate for higher education in general and their own universities and colleges in particular. In this part we advocate for various points of view on arts and sciences education as well as higher education in general, propose strategies for making the case to the public for the value of what we do, and bring into the conversation some important allies in the community college system.
The third part of the book is Predicting the Future: The Next Fifty Years for Education in the Arts and Sciences. In particular the authors grapple with the long-term value of the humanities, the changing nature of graduate education, and the role that American universities need to play on the world stage.
Our epilogue is focused on the future as well and brings to the fore two key questions for all of us: How do we learn, and what should we learn? And these questions are even more important than the particular answer we may give to either of them at any time.

Founded in 1965, CCAS began the same year that Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). The law was intended to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education. It increased federal money given to universities, created scholarships, gave low-interest loans for students, and established a National Teachers Corps. Johnson s goal was to keep the doors to higher education open for all academically qualified students, regardless of their financial circumstances. Around the same time, the administration and Congress also opened and funded the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). These agencies joined the National Science Foundation founded fifteen years before as federal agencies authorized to fund research in the fields represented in arts and science disciplines (see Yu s discussion, this volume).
During this time many deans of arts and sciences belonged to and attended the annual meetings of the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges (NASULGC), renamed the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) in 2009. During the annual meeting in 1965, the leadership of NASLGU announced that the organization would focus its advocacy efforts on funding for applied areas in agriculture and engineering and not for the basic work done in arts and sciences. This action troubled the deans of arts and sciences, who walked out of the meeting and decided to form their own association to advocate for the liberal arts (see Weiner and Abrahamse s essay this volume).
But what did they want to champion? As Paul Bell in his essay reminds us, a liberal arts education asks students to incorporate into their worldview knowledge from a variety of fields in order for them to function as free men and women. Although the term liberal arts is often colloquially taken to mean studies in the humanities or social sciences, when we use the term liberal arts, we include mathematics and the basic sciences housed within our colleges. Indeed in the earliest meaning of the term, grammar, rhetoric, and logic were the core liberal arts, but during the Middle Ages, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy were added to the list.
Unpacking the term liberal arts does not simply mean discussing the mathematical and natural sciences, humanities and arts, and social science fields and the majors these fields have developed. In American higher education liberal arts has been come to mean not only the major programs of study but specifically what has come to be known as general education. Students in American universities are exposed to introductory courses in the humanities and the social sciences as well as in the natural and mathematical sciences. Many universities implicitly-if not explicitly-adopt a one-third / one-third / one-third model of undergraduate education. One-third of the courses required are general education courses, one-third of the courses are those dedicated to concentrated study in a major, and the final third are left to the student to work on areas of their own choosing. Many believe that this approach to undergraduate education helps to develop in the students more flexible and creative habits of mind. The ability to explore different fields and areas of study enriches a student s personal and professional life.
One of the major innovations of the American higher educational system that supported this approach was the development of the introductory course. That is, scholars attempted to organize knowledge in a given field to provide a sense of the broad themes, approaches, and organizing principles of a discipline. These first courses analyze and synthesize fields of study to give students a broad overview and approach to the subject. Along with courses to develop a student s particular writing, communication, and quantitative skills, these introductory courses form the backbone of a general education program.
The tension exhibited between the founding deans of this association and the leadership of NASULGC has long existed in American higher education, even in its earliest days. That is, should we focus our advocacy and our energy on applied fields of knowledge like those in the fields of agriculture and engineering or continue to support, argue, and defend the basic work conducted in the arts and science disciplines? But even those who support the arts and sciences may not line up neatly on one side of this argument.
In his groundbreaking historical treatment, Kimball argued that the history of higher education is the tension and the accommodation between two competing views of the nature and definition of the liberal arts. 1 The oratorical tradition celebrates liberal education for its practical value in a broad range of areas because it prepares the student for public life, leadership, and service. In contrast the philosophical tradition focuses on the development of specialized knowledge in the basic disciplines for its own sake and without any concern for its utility. Kimball argued that the terms have been used too casually and have begun to mean whatever the writer is proposing. Although one cannot argue with Kimball s historical analysis, the present day allows for both views in our understanding of the purpose of liberal education. Liberal education and the design of our institutions now allows the term to encompass basic skills and broad knowledge as represented in our general education or core requirements as well as the in depth and specialized knowledge in our major programs of study, which are the building blocks of intellectual creativity and the civil society. We are orators and philosophers.
Even as the new CCAS was being founded to support and to advocate for the liberal arts, the case for higher education was being made in economic terms. Since the late 1960s, higher education has been making the case for a college education to the larger public based on the lifetime salary earnings of college graduates. That is, the basic justification for securing a college degree being social mobility and a clear return on investment (ROI) became a staple in our dialogue with the public. For decades academic leaders have argued that higher education is the key to jobs and success in the knowledge economy. Lifetime earnings are indeed significantly higher for those holding college or advanced degrees compared to those with high school or some college. 2
In the first decades of this argumentative strategy, the return on investment for a college education was considered across the lifetime of an individual. Unfortunately, in the twenty-first century, in the current political and social climate, the time line for calculating a return on the investment in college has become shorter. Rather than consider the return of lifetime earnings for investing time and money into a college education, a college education is evaluated based on the starting salary in the first job that a student holds upon graduation. This approach devalues any major not directly tied to a particular job category. When only starting salaries matter, a degree in chemical engineering is more valuable than a degree in teaching STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) because the starting salary is higher. Of course, from a societal point, we will not produce college graduates in engineering if the K-12 or the college system has no qualified teachers.
Corporate leaders consistently tell us that they need broadly educated workers who have communicative, quantitative, and problem-solving skills. In addition they are looking for individuals who can work in teams and with individuals from a variety of different backgrounds in order to accomplish tasks. And they need workers who can analyze complex information (often incomplete) and think critically and creatively about problems and their solutions. 3 Indeed they need graduates of liberal arts colleges.
Majors in a liberal arts curriculum do not map clearly into a particular job. A student who majors in chemical engineering has a clear, obvious path to the first job whereas students with a major in chemistry need to be able to make a case for the knowledge, skills, and approaches that they have learned by majoring in chemistry and how this background translates into being a productive member of a work group. As educators we have a responsibility to help students see these connections. Indeed, as Paul Bell details in his essay, many colleges of arts and sciences now offer career counseling, internships, and a variety of out-of-classroom learning experiences to help students to see how the theories, approaches, and skills they have learned can help to solve practical problems.
It follows that much of the research conducted by faculty in our colleges may not be immediately relevant to solving our environmental problems, our public health concerns, or our fiscal crises. And society does depend on the applied work done by researchers in the disciplines outside the liberal arts domain to solve real problems right now. But what is lost in these immediate payoff arguments is that applied disciplines need and depend on the work done in the basic fields. There is no advertising without art; no journalism without English; no chemical engineering without chemistry; no medicine without the biological sciences; no marketing without psychology; no popular culture without literature; no public relations without political science; and no finance without economics. And much of the work that we do within our colleges goes on without any obvious immediate short-term payout. This is true in all branches of knowledge. But our scholarly community is engaged in a long-term conversation with others in the solving of problems and the creation of knowledge. And no one of us can decide right now, or know with certainty, what will be important thirty to fifty years from now.
With the collapse of our economy in 2008, the rising costs of a college education, and the difficulty of college graduates in securing employment, our argument for a college education needs to be broadened. The return for a college education continues to be high over time based on current data, which tracks those who graduated twenty-plus years ago. We may, however, be experiencing a serious shift in our economy, and the ROI may not hold over time. Our current graduates may not fare as well economically twenty years from now as those now represented in the current data. And that is the grave anxiety for our students and their parents undergirding current public opinion.
The immediate economic return on the investment cannot be the only pillar on which we rest our defense. Leaders in colleges of arts and sciences like Paul Bell and Nancy Gutierrez in this volume have never argued that we are training students for their first job but rather have always believed that our role is to equip our students with the critical skills and abilities to grow into their third job, and beyond. The goal of a liberal arts education is for graduates to lead productive lives in the world of work but also to lead healthy and fulfilling lives as members of community and the polity.
Current and past deans of arts and sciences (A S) are in a particularly good position to offer their insights into the challenges facing higher education today. Deans are faculty members who have been chosen as leaders of their colleges because they have been successful as teachers, scholars, and researchers and have shown the ability to lead groups and accomplish key academic tasks. Deans have unusual vantage points because they are part of the senior leadership of their institutions yet close to the day-to-day issues and concerns of their faculty, staff, and students. Deans are responsible for recruiting and retaining faculty, staff, and students and providing for each group the environment in which they can thrive.
Deans are liminal figures as they stand in the doorway of their colleges, required to deal with-and represent their colleges to-the alumni, the higher administration, and the public and to craft messages that persuade these constituents of the value of their enterprise.
In consultation with their faculty, staff, and students, deans must craft a vision for their units that is in line with the larger vision of the home institution in which they operate. As the chief operating officers of their units, they must manage resources to achieve their strategic goals. Deans must balance many conflicting demands for scarce resources and trade short-term gains for long-term strategic objectives.
A S deans are in a particularly good position to discuss key issues facing higher education because of the range and diversity of programs with which they deal on a daily basis. Many have programs that go through rigorous accreditation reviews (for example, theater, art, journalism, chemistry), and so they have an understanding of the outcome foci as well as the planning constraints on faculty-student ratios and other considerations facing their colleagues in business or engineering. Many have programs that must-for reasons of academic quality (for example, writing, basic language, or public-speaking courses), nature of the discipline (for example, music, studio art), or even safety (for example, chemistry labs)-offer very small courses in specific settings. The latter can be very costly, but quality of our educational programs must be maintained and defended.
The book begins with three essays written by seasoned deans of colleges of arts and sciences. These three essays allow us to see deans as they practice their craft. Each essay takes us on a journey that begins with a specific disciplinary lens and applies that framework to issues facing higher education.
In the first essay, two noted historians, Lynn Weiner and Dorothy Abrahamse, examine the archives of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Science (CCAS) and recount for us its history. The essay provides a snapshot of the history of higher education and the role that deans in general and arts and science deans in particular began to play in that emerging structure.
Fifty years ago leaders in higher education realized that an important mission for professional associations was to advocate for the value of higher education not only with the federal government but also with the public at large. Although a liberal arts component had been added to the mission of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) in 1945, it had not significantly changed NASULGC from its early agricultural and engineering roots. In 1965 NASULGC publicly decided that they would advocate for engineering and agriculture. This action led to the founding of CCAS.
The next two essays are written by Nancy Gutierrez and Paul Bell, two deans with broad experience in higher education. Both have served as department chairs and associate or vice provosts in large public research universities as well as deans of arts and sciences. In their essays they employ not only their extensive experiences as scholars and researchers but also their specialized disciplinary expertise to the challenges we face in higher education.
The essay by Gutierrez, who is a literary theorist and critic, argues for the primacy of meaning. According to Gutierrez educators and deans are the storytellers in chief. Our job is to construct the narrative vision for liberal education, to tell compelling stories, and to help develop empathic imagination in our students. In this essay Gutierrez points to the power of narrative in leadership and reminds us that a liberal arts education is designed to develop the whole person. In that sense colleges of arts and sciences are vocational schools, and in fact, unlike professional schools, we prepare our students to be successful in all the roles they play-parent and child, friend and neighbor, employer and employee, citizen and leader.
Storytelling is not only a powerful persuasive tool but also a key to effective education as well. Helping students to understand how humans make meaning can facilitate not only the development of a larger vision for them but also an emphatic understanding of some of the most troubling problems in human relations. Both students and administrators learn empathy from taking the making meaning metaphor seriously, and this is an invaluable lesson.
The essay by Paul Bell, trained as a biologist and a bench scientist, takes us on a personal journey from his earliest days as a student and a young professor. Steeped in the value of a liberal education, this essay is an inside view of the changes that have occurred in higher education in the decades since the association was founded. Bell gives us an inside view of how educators came to see that much of what we were doing in the classroom did not match our goal of educating students to think for themselves. This essay is refreshingly free of jargon-discovery learning, flipped classrooms, mentoring-but takes us to the heart of the faculty-student relationship.
Paul Bell presents a moral vision of education and the professoriate in line with the work of Rhodes and Trevor, 4 a former provost at Cornell University. Rhodes and Bell see the professor as inspiring and transforming the lives of their students not only as instructors in their courses but also as coaches, guides to the territory, and role models. And as Bell reminds us, there is no end to pursuing the goal of being liberally educated, as there is always more to know, more to understand, and more to share.
1 . Kimball, Orators and Philosophers , 101.
2 . Baum et al., Expected Full-Time Lifetime Earnings.
3 . Gaston, General Education .
4 . Rhodes and Trevor, Creation of Future .
Baum, Sandy, Jennifer Ma, and Kathleen Payea. Expected Full-Time Lifetime Earnings Relative to High School Graduates, by Education Level. Digital image. Education Pays 2013: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society . College Board, 2013. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. Fig. 1.2.
Gaston, Paul L. General Education Transformed: How We Can, Why We Must . Washington: Assn. of American Colleges and Universities, 2015.
Kimball, Bruce A. Orators and Philosophers: A History of the Idea of Liberal Education . New York: College Entrance Examination Board, 1995.
Rhodes, Frank, and Harold Trevor. The Creation of the Future: The Role of the American University . Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2001.
CCAS and Deaning after Fifty Years
The Council of Deans of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS)-the largest organization in the United States representing arts and sciences deans-originated fifty years ago when the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) voted to include engineering and agriculture, but not arts and sciences, in their programs for legislative advocacy. Fifty determined arts and sciences deans walked out of the 1965 meeting to form their own group-the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences of Land-Grant Colleges and State Universities. 1 Since 1965 CCAS has advocated for the arts and sciences in higher education and provided networking and professional development opportunities for tens of thousands of deans. 2 It has broadened its reach to include private as well as public colleges and universities, and its membership reflects the rapid increase of women and people of color into leadership positions in academe. For half a century CCAS has embodied the mantra of deans helping deans to dean.
By the mid-twentieth century American colleges and universities evolved into complex organizations overseeing academic programs, student life, and finances. Administration transformed from a service shared by professors to a distinct profession focused on leadership and management. Harvard College appointed the first dean in 1870; for most universities at that time administration consisted of a president, a treasurer, and a librarian. Deans-initially deans of students meant to relieve the president of a growing number of tasks-came to head schools and colleges; the median number of college administrators grew from four in 1860 to 30.5 by 1933. 3 These administrators developed organizations to provide professional development and shape agendas. While some focused on higher education-including the Association of American Colleges and Universities (1915), the American Council on Education (1918), and the American Council of Academic Deans (1945) 4 -none emphasized the leadership and advocacy of arts and sciences colleges.
The founding mission of CCAS was threefold: to provide a forum of discussion for common problems of higher education as they relate to the Arts and Sciences in state supported institutions, to lobby state and federal agencies on behalf of the arts and sciences, and to share information on the varied disciplines of the arts and sciences with deans who, after all, had each been trained in a single field of study. 5
The majority of institutional members in the early years were, not surprisingly, state research and doctoral universities, followed later by comprehensive master s institutions and liberal arts colleges. Phillip R. Certain, in his presidential address in 2000, noted that after thirty-five years CCAS institutions had shifted to 37 percent research and doctoral, 53 percent master s comprehensive, and 10 percent baccalaureate-with large state university deans who presided over twenty thousand students meeting with liberal arts college deans running units of three hundred. CCAS deans, he observed, represented vastly different types of institutions, united by their common commitment to the liberal arts. 6
After renting an office in Washington, D.C., the organization by 1980 had established a national headquarters at Kansas State University, moving to Ohio State University in 1987, Arizona State University in 1995, and the College of William and Mary in 2006. Finding these supportive institutional homes despite the comings and goings of individual deans and provosts has assured the survival of CCAS. In 1988 the membership voted to create the part-time position of executive director, recognizing that an elected board of directors consisting of a changing slate of volunteer deans, no matter how well intentioned, could not oversee an organization growing larger and more complex each year. Serving in the position of executive director until 1996 were Richard Hopkins, Ernie Peck, and, as an interim for a year, Fran Peck. 7
CCAS grew by broadening membership eligibility. In 1973 eligibility was extended to members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, in addition to NASULGC. That year also the organization shortened its name to the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences. 8 Fifteen years later, in 1988, CCAS further expanded by admitting private as well as public universities. Public and privately supported institutions by that time shared similar missions, private institution deans expressed an interest in membership, and what is most important, the inclusion of private universities enhanced the ability of CCAS to speak on behalf of colleges of arts and sciences nationally. The first four private institutions to join were Vassar College, Liberty University, St. Louis University, and Spalding University. 9
By 1989 there were 250 institutional members. CCAS grew rapidly during the 1990s to reach 481 institutions. In 2014 membership included over 515 institutions represented by seven hundred deans and one thousand associate and assistant deans from the United States, Canada, Greece, Kuwait, and Kazakhstan. The U.S. members-about two-thirds public and one-third private, collectively educate some four million college and university students.
For half a century, through changing economic and political climates, shifting student enrollment patterns, and national debates on higher education, CCAS has successfully and consistently helped deans to dean by offering a rich portfolio of leadership training. To a degree CCAS has also continually promoted the value of the liberal arts and sciences, with varying degrees of success. Most challenging has been the effort-first articulated in the original mission statement-of shaping a national agenda on higher education. For its first twenty years or so advocacy of the interests of colleges of arts and sciences to government agencies and the public was a major CCAS activity. But the lack of a presence in Washington and the diminishment of ties to other higher education organizations, along with the growing imperative of providing leadership training to deans in a rapidly changing profession, pushed advocacy into the background, although periodically CCAS leadership attempted to resurrect its national voice.
From its beginnings CCAS provided mentoring and training for decanal leadership. The first annual meeting in Washington, D.C., was, according to its participants, the best dean s meeting ever. 10 The two-day program featured a discussion with the associate commissioner for higher education, a presentation by the assistant secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (who urged the organization to establish national priorities), and panels on government relations and advanced placement testing. The participants approved a constitution, dues schedules, a resolution stating that CCAS should be involved in the planning and administration of federal education programs, the establishment of a committee to study the role of the department chair, and a proposal on international education. The meeting also included a question-and-answer dinner session where deans worked with each other on common management problems.
The annual meeting provided a forum for deans to share ideas but also to commiserate with each other-as Philip Cartwright wryly stated in his 1969 presidential comments, it is through this organization that we have the opportunity at least once a year for mutual sympathizing and self pity. 11
The early annual meetings were relatively small, held on college campuses and in alternate years in Washington, D.C. Seventy-five representatives of member institutions attended the first meeting in 1966. But a growing membership demanded more space and more professional development. In 1988 the meeting, located in Atlanta, was held over four days and was attended by 322 deans and staff members. It included a workshop for new deans, a business meeting, gatherings of regional deans, case-study sessions, a breakfast for women deans, luncheon presentations, evening receptions, and twenty-eight sessions on topics including assessment, teacher education, faculty compensation, historically black colleges, and the ever-popular What Do Deans Do? 12
The CCAS board in 1970 proposed that consulting deans visit arts and sciences departments and provide advice on structure, personnel, and programming. 13 While this initiative failed to take hold, the idea was resurrected in the 2010s when department chair leadership development workshops were offered on individual campuses as well as at yearly seminars; twenty colleges and universities participated in this on-campus program in 2014. 14
Other early activities included an annual survey of decanal salaries, a conference on the humanities in higher education, and a commission on the arts and sciences that met regularly with the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.
Workshops for deans were jointly organized in the 1970s with the Association of American Colleges and the American Conference of Academic Deans. The popular New Deans Workshop began as an annual meeting session in 1971. We are not sure what constitutes a new dean, but probably anyone in the [dean s] office for less than two years would satisfy that category, wrote President Martin Stearns. Actually we are faced with so many new problems that in a sense we are all new deans. 15 The workshop covered issues including collective bargaining, troubled departments, and new federal legislation, and it transformed into independent seminars, beginning in 1988 at the College of William and Mary. 16
New interests in the 1980s included affirmative action, student and faculty racial diversity, resource allocation, curriculum assessment, and new technology (one program in the early 1980s somewhat ominously featured a discussion of the plague and potential of computers ). By the end of the decade, serious downsizing of liberal arts programs had led to discussions about deep and narrow cuts that would terminate programs and reallocate faculty. It was a good time for the introduction of stress management workshops for deans, offered along with workshops on coping with sensitive personal interactions, which undoubtedly morphed into the current well-attended workshops on conflict resolution.
By the 1990s new annual program sessions focused on gender and race reflected the transformative social changes impacting colleges and universities. By that time, too, the proportion of women deans in the organization had grown dramatically. The first list available of members, from the 1968 meeting, lists ninety attendees with no evident women deans, and it is not surprising that the first board of directors was all male. And the 1971 newsletter included an invitation inviting you and your wives to attend the annual meeting. 17
But by the early 1970s more women were becoming deans. There were only a handful of women in CCAS when Dean Jane Earley proposed a women s caucus in 1971, which sponsored the first women s breakfast at the next annual meeting. (This was renamed the Gender Issues Breakfast in 2009.) But as gender discrimination eased in colleges and universities, more women became department chairs and deans. In 2011 a study of CCAS demographics showed that 31 percent of deans, 42 percent of associate deans, and 63 percent of assistant deans were women. 18 In 1975 Ria Frijters, of Towson State College, was elected to the board of directors. 19 The first woman president was Jane Earley, who served in 1980-81 in the middle of her thirty-five-year tenure as dean at Mankato State University; since Dean Earley s tenure half of CCAS presidents have been women. Since that time too the number of African American, Latino, Asian, and LGBT deans serving as committee members, board members, or presidents has grown. 20 The recent inclusion of assistant and associate deans in CCAS activities, including eligibility for election to the board of directors, further deepened the pool of future academic leaders familiar with practical and philosophical issues in contemporary higher education. 21
The deanship has always been a volatile post, with deans retiring, returning to the faculty, or becoming provosts or presidents. There has been so much mobility, in fact, that the elected board of directors expanded its numbers over the years to twelve, up from the original five, to guarantee continuity over an academic year. The first CCAS president, J. Osborn Fuller of Ohio State University, was appointed president of Fairleigh Dickenson University in 1967. A sample of other CCAS deans appointed college or university presidents includes John Silber (Boston University), Nancy Dye (Oberlin College), Sally Frost Mason (University of Iowa), Mary Ellen Mazey (Bowling Green State University), Charles R. Middleton (Roosevelt University), Joe Gow (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse), Carl J. Strikwerda (Elizabethtown College), and Denise A. Battles (State University of New York at Geneseo).
Resources to help deans succeed have included an annual national faculty salary survey and four to six thematic seminars each year on a changing list of topics such as assessment, legal issues, distance learning, and fund-raising. A newsletter, issued from the start, usually published quarterly and included news of meetings, activities, organizational initiatives, occasional essays, reprints of presidential speeches, personnel transitions ( changing of the guard ), and even, occasionally, jokes. 22
With the decision in 2006 to expand the role of the executive director to full-time status, the board engaged in its first strategic planning exercises, resulting in the identification of organizational priorities. Under the direction of Anne-Marie McCartan (executive director 2006-16) new offerings included a robust website, online discussion forums, special-purpose workshops before and after the annual meeting, a digital assessment guide on standards of practice for colleges of arts and sciences, a new deans mentoring program, a digital knowledge base, on-campus training for chairs and heads, and a book on deans and development.
The formation of CCAS reflected frustration at the erosion of public support for the liberal arts in higher education in the 1960s. In the post-Sputnik era funds and priorities emphasized growth in engineering and the sciences, and students also turned increasingly to professional degrees such as business. The theme of the third annual meeting in 1968 for example was The Relevancy of Colleges of Arts and Sciences in Contemporary Society, and at the next year s annual meeting the theme was Is Liberal Education Dead? 23 A frequent theme for early CCAS meetings was the defense of liberal education in a world of careerism. Guest speakers and CCAS presidents alike expressed alarm at the stampede of undergraduate students into applied majors, fearing intellectual illiteracy. In 1970 the newsletter published an essay by George Starcher, president of the University of North Dakota and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University, on the need for colleges of arts and sciences. Responding to U.S. vice president Spiro Agnew s comment that essential vocational and technical training was too often pushed aside by the elegant ornament of the liberal arts, President Starcher stated that the liberal arts instead contribute to the most important capital any state can have, namely, knowledge, wisdom, and the skills its people need. 24
CCAS speakers continued to circle the wagons of liberal education. Harold Enarson, president of Ohio State University, addressed the annual meeting in 1975. Here we stand, he said, last-ditch defenders of the liberal arts. He noted how students were deserting the liberal arts in a great lemming-like rush to those areas of instruction that seem to promise jobs at the end of the trail, and that we have every excuse for doing nothing-and every reason for doing something. 25
During the 1970s CCAS sent representatives to comparable deans organizations in education, business, and engineering. 26 CCAS since 1987 has fostered partnerships with colleges of education, including holding joint workshops with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, bringing together arts and sciences and education deans, and, in 2001, passing a resolution on the importance of teacher education for colleges of arts and sciences. CCAS has also collaborated with arts and music educators, cosponsoring its 2006 meeting with the International Conference of Fine Arts Deans.
During the 1990s popular annual meeting sessions such as Frontiers of the Disciplines introduced the newest developments in various academic fields. The worst of the downsizing behind (for a while), deans were now building new programs, especially interdisciplinary degrees, and hiring new faculty. Programs on general education, international and community service experiences, cultural diversity, and college fund-raising emerged as important themes.
Dean E. Gerald Meyer of the University of Wyoming noted how in the early years most deans came from humanities and social science fields, not the sciences. 27 By 1988 a list of the disciplines of deans reflected a wider variety of academic training for deans. The largest numbers of deans continued to emerge from the fields of literature and history, followed by political science, but there were also over forty chemists, twenty-six mathematicians, twenty-five sociologists, twenty-four biologists, and twenty-two psychologists. Altogether some forty academic disciplines were represented. 28
Advocating for the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was a focus long before STEM was a name. Helping nonscientists understand and speak for their science programs has been a focus of CCAS throughout its history. In 2009, under the leadership of President Denise A. Battles, CCAS received a four-year collaborative National Science Foundation grant of $1.2 million to address gender equity in the STEM disciplines. CCAS leaders used the grant to create content for professional development programs and case studies. 29 The grant also led to a change in the CCAS bylaws, establishing the Standing Committee on Gender Issues.
Political advocacy was an important part of CCAS efforts from 1965 through the 1980s, as were partnerships with other higher education associations. Although the U.S. Department of Education was not established until 1979, the first meetings focused on advocacy with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), founded in 1953. Among the first standing committees were the Committee on Government Relations and the Committee on Relations to Other Groups.
The campus upheavals of the late 1960s propelled deans to further engage with government officials. In 1967 a resolution on the selective service draft was sent to U.S. president Lyndon Johnson, expressing deep concern about proposed policies that would end student deferments and remove thousands of teaching assistants from classrooms and laboratories at a time of a shortage of college teachers. Another resolution issued a strong statement on the right of students to dissent in orderly and peaceful fashion, and on the importance of establishing the limits of dissent after the broadest possible student-faculty-administrative consultation. University administrators struggled with competing interests. President Philip Cartwright noted in August 1969, the academic year is over and many of us are heaving a sigh of relief that we have neither been shut down or burned down. 30
During the next two decades, CCAS representatives met with the U.S. commissioner of education, Claiborne Pell, and other policy makers, and opposed specialized accreditation (especially in computer science), political earmarks, and the decline in math and science education, while advocating for an increased role of the arts and sciences in teacher certification, supporting affirmative action, and expressing the need to maintain academic standards for student athletes. CCAS newsletters at this time included news on the status of education-related legislation on the state and federal levels.
There was also an early effort to create a Dean-in-Residence program in Washington, with a dean willing to spend an administrative sabbatical in an office at the headquarters of the American Association of Colleges, to create ties with other higher education associations, and to lobby on behalf of the arts and sciences. It actually happened twice, but efforts to secure external funding failed, and administrative sabbaticals did not seem any more popular in the 1970s than they are today. The program ended in 1975, reemerging occasionally in discussions with other academic organizations, most recently in 1995.
Sustained political engagement proved difficult. Dean William Briggs, in a 1975 newsletter article, noted that without representation in Washington we might conclude that there is really no hope of having any influence from the arts and sciences at the national policy level and simply retreat to a position of mutual edification. 31 But CCAS leaders tried. A 1979 plan of priorities included the need for CCAS to have more impact on the national scene. Members approved numerous resolutions on higher education public policy that were sent to Congress, the president, and policy makers; for example in 1982 one resolution urged restoration of funding for work-study programs, and another sought tax credits for science and research equipment.
A report of the Committee on the Future of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (sometimes called the Halloran Report after the chair, Dean William Halloran) was circulated in 1987. Among its recommendations were the broadening of membership to include private institutions; closer working ties with the American Conference of Academic Deans and other arts and sciences regional and national deans groups; a variety of structural governance changes, including the establishment of a Resolutions Committee; the pursuit of external funding for CCAS studies and projects; and the use of news releases to obtain more press coverage of CCAS activities and position statements so that CCAS could become a recognized source of information on higher education. 32
In the 1990s, while there were some efforts to respond to government cutbacks in higher education funding, most resolutions centered on communicating policy to deans and universities on issues including affirmative action; gay, lesbian and bisexual rights; and faculty recruiting. President Mary P. Richards, in her 1995 address, bemoaned the lack of public influence. Partly because we have been a service-oriented organization, she stated, we have kept a low profile nationally that limits our ability to influence policy-makers on issues of importance. She recommended that CCAS forge stronger ties with other higher education organizations, talk less to ourselves, and become more activist on policy matters. Let s use our powers of interpretation, she suggested, to influence the national discourse on cultural values, scientific inquiry, and the life-long education of all people. 33
The board of directors responded with the 1997 Taskforce on the National Agenda, which recommended a legislative program for Congress in support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Science Foundation, and the inclusion of graduate fellowships in the Higher Education Act. But most activities over the next decade continued to focus on professional development.
By the mid-2000s the CCAS board of directors again returned to more active efforts to shape a national conversation on the value of the arts and sciences. Julia Wallace, dean at the University of Northern Iowa, in her 2006 presidential address recalled the early political activities of CCAS regarding national policies impacting education, concluding that we need to get back our voice. 34
The board of directors followed through, creating a number of new initiatives meant to raise the profile and impact of CCAS. A brochure, Liberal Arts and Sciences FAQs , was created by 2007-8 president, Matthew C. Moen. The board endorsed a statement in 2009 that emphasized the importance of liberal education for citizenship and to raise the human spirit and unlock the finest expressions of our shared human experience. 35 That same year board members met with U.S. Department of Education official Daniel Madzelan to urge that CCAS be involved in higher education discussions. White papers on higher education were developed for U.S. presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012, addressing access to higher education, research funding, and scholarship needs.
CCAS in 2008 also initiated the Arts and Sciences Advocacy Award, meant to demonstrate exemplary advocacy for the arts and sciences, flowing from a deep commitment to the intrinsic worth of liberal arts education. The award has since honored organizations including Phi Beta Kappa, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and individuals, including University of Chicago law and ethics professor Martha Nussbaum, and Deborah Byrd, founder of the organization EarthSky: A Clear Voice for Science.
In 2012 CCAS joined the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), with board members attending meetings in Washington, cohosting Humanities Advocacy Day, and visiting legislators; the CCAS executive director was also elected to serve on the NHA board of directors. Nine deans attended the 2014 meetings. CCAS members also presented a new assessment guide for college standards of practice to the American Association of Colleges and Universities annual meeting in 2015.
For half a century, CCAS has developed leadership for colleges of arts and sciences. It has survived as a constantly changing group of busy volunteers with no bureaucracy and a small but heroically efficient staff. Thousands of deans have attended meetings and workshops, voted on resolutions and proposals, and brought new practices back to their campuses, impacting millions of students. Focused currently on organizational collaborations, professional development, advocacy of liberal learning, and the shaping of national conversations and policy, CCAS has again found its voice and continues to strengthen the centrality of the liberal arts and sciences in America s college and universities.
The authors thank Dean Bonnie Gunzenhauser of Roosevelt University for editorial suggestions, and CCAS executive director Anne-Marie McCartan for editorial suggestions and archival assistance.
1 . Phillip Certain in his 2000 presidential address described how the liberal arts deans marched out of the meeting to reconvene at a nearby hotel; see CCAS Newsletter Jan.-Feb. 2001, 10. Gerald Meyer also described the initial walkout that included deans from Ohio State, the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska, the University of Wyoming, and others. CCAS Newsletter Mar.-Apr. 2001, 6.
2 . The newsletters, programs, and other archival materials of CCAS are now held in the organization s current headquarters at the College of William and Mary; many of them are available on the CCAS website: ; or by request at .
3 . A good overview of the development of American higher education is Frederick Rudolph, The American College and University: A History (Athens: U of Georgia P, 1990; originally published 1962), chap. 20. Statistics are from pp. 434-35.
4 . See the websites of these organizations: ; ; .
5 . CCAS Newsletter Nov. 1966, 3-4.
6 . Phillip R. Certain, CCAS: Who Are We; Why Are We; and Where Are We Going? 2000 presidential address, CCAS Newsletter Jan.-Feb. 2001, 10. By 2014, 83 percent of universities categorized by the Carnegie Classification as Research-High belonged to CCAS, with 45 percent of all Research-Very High institutions as members. Between 21 and 43 percent of master s-level universities were members, and only between 3 and 10 percent of baccalaureate institutions. See CCAS Membership Profile 2009-2014 , CCAS archives.
7 . CCAS Newsletter Jan.-Feb. 1988, 2.
8 . CCAS Newsletter Feb. 1974, 4.
9 . CCAS Newsletter Jan.-Feb. 1989, 4.
10 . CCAS Newsletter Nov. 1966, 1.
11 . CCAS Newsletter Aug. 1969, 1.
12 . CCAS 1988 Annual Meeting Program , Atlanta.
13 . CCAS Newsletter Apr. 1970, 1.
14 . CCAS Newsletter Mar.-Apr. 2014, 7.
15 . CCAS Newsletter June 1971, 2.
16 . CCAS Newsletter Jan.-Feb. 1989, 4.
17 . CCAS Newsletter Nov. 1966, 3; CCAS Newsletter Sept. 1971, 2.
18 . CCAS Demographics, 2011 , CCAS archives.
19 . CCAS Newsletter Mar. 1975, 2.
20 . See the list of presidents on the CCAS website.
21 . The inclusion of associate and assistant deans was not easily attained. In 1982 the membership rejected a proposal to make A-deans eligible for election to the board of directors; that status did not change until 2004. See CCAS Newsletter Jan. 1983, 1.
22 . For details see the CCAS website. Despite faculty thinking otherwise, deans have always had a sense of humor. Here s one joke published in a 1971 newsletter: The dean and the department head were standing by a wishing well; the dean fell in. In recounting the incident the department head said he hadn t realized that those things worked! CCAS Newsletter Sept. 1971, 7.
23 . CCAS Newsletter Dec. 1968, 1; CCAS Newsletter Aug. 1969, 2.
24 . Harold Enarson, The Liberal Arts and the People s Colleges and Choices, reprinted in CCAS Newsletter Apr. 1970, 3.
25 . CCAS Newsletter Dec. 1975, 10.
26 . CCAS Newsletter Jan. 1970, 2.
27 . CCAS Newsletter Mar.-Apr. 2001, 6.
28 1989-1990 CCAS Membership Directory , 67-85, CCAS archives.
29 . See the website on the ADVANCE initiative on the CCAS website. .
30 . CCAS Newsletter Aug. 1969, 1.
31 . CCAS Newsletter Dec. 1975, 2.
32 . Report of the Committee on the Future of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences , 1987, CCAS archives.
33 . Mary Richards, New Directions for CCAS, 1995 CCAS presidential address.
34 . Julia Wallace, No Dean Left Behind, 2006 CCAS presidential address, 11. CCAS Newsletter , Nov.-Dec. 2006, 8.
35 . CCAS Statement on Liberal Education , 2009, CCAS website.
One evening when I was in graduate school, many years ago, my roommate, Lorayne, and I were watching a television program at the end of a long day of classes and library work. Midway through the program, after a commercial break, the story line made a leap that did not quite make sense. However, the two of us (students of narratology, after all!) took the opportunity to apply our expertise to explicate how this lack of continuity worked with the plot line. But after the next commercial break, the story line seemed to recapture the pieces we had identified as missing, although the plotline was still disjointed. So again we developed a sophisticated theory about how the plot was working (something about in medias res and nonlinear thinking) and returned to watching the program. Finally, after the third commercial break, the segment that had confused us, the first one we watched, began replaying. We realized, with some laughter, that there had been a disruption in the sequencing (instead of seeing act 1 then 2 then 3 and so on, we had seen 1, then 3, then 2, then 3, then so on), and in fact the event we had missed actually was a mistake in the transmission. Our interpretation of the quirky story line (which, I am sure, was erudite and postmodern in the extreme) was a fabrication made out of nothing and had no meaning related to the television story line at all.
However, that does not mean that it lacked validity. I tell this story because Lorayne and I were only doing what human beings do all the time-making meaning-and in this particular instance, after we realized what had happened, we each had a heightened awareness that we had just engaged in this very human cognitive practice. We had several pieces of data that seemed unrelated, and we arranged them in such a way that there was a coherent whole. This whole ultimately was unrelated to the source, but it was not necessarily untrue. The story line we created had coherence and integrity, based on the facts that had been presented to us. As a literary scholar I value this experience. As a dean I recognize that this is a key element of any success I have in my job.
As a dean I understand how critically important it is to tell compelling stories about my college: I look at budget numbers in order to tell a story to my provost or my donors about college needs and college successes; I recount student anecdotes to demonstrate the efficacious power of the college curriculum and of the college s talented faculty; I look at past events in the college to craft a historical continuum that imagines an even more persuasive and progressive future.

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