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A Message From Dean Duncan

05/28/2019

Dear Arts & Sciences alumni,

Dean DuncanAlongside Saint Louis University, the College of Arts and Sciences is now beginning its third century of educating young men and women in the Catholic-Jesuit tradition. Established in 1818, the College of Arts and Sciences remains the heart of Saint Louis University and continues to deliver on its mission of pursuing truth and transmitting knowledge for the greater glory of God and service to humanity year in and year out. As the oldest, largest and most diverse college at SLU, Arts and Sciences faculty teach and conduct scholarly research in virtually every aspect of the natural and even the supernatural world. Scientists, scholars and artists explore the most minute parts of the material world, the forces, patterns, and ways of nature, the totality of the human person ranging from the physiological and psychological, to the social, the political, the economic, the creative and artistic, spiritual, and metaphysical aspects of existence. We ask the big questions about truth, justice, peace, community, friendship, love, beauty, morality, faith, and God while trying to help our students and the world understand how it might all fit together in a coherent worldview and a life lived well.

While this integrative approach to educating the whole person has been widely practiced for over 500 years, there are pressures that we face for accountability and practicality from today’s parents and students as well as politicians, the leaders of business and industry and the general public itself that we must confront head on. The good news on this front is that despite the sometimes negative rhetoric, the truth is that 96% of our graduates are either employed fulltime or are fulltime students in medical school, graduate school, law school or other post-baccalaureate educational programs within a year of graduation. Furthermore, employers consistently cite skills like critical and analytic thinking, teamwork, the ability to communicate well both orally and through the written word, along with the possession of a strong ethical compass as highly desirable attributes for their potential employees. The College of Arts and Sciences inculcates those skills and attributes across its numerous disciplines and majors in the humanities, the natural and physical sciences, the social sciences, and the arts. In providing an education that is both broad and deep, we prepare our students in the best Jesuit tradition to be people who are both for and with others; we prepare them, as I like to say, for the world of work, but also for the work of the world.

In the College of Arts and Sciences at SLU, we live out in myriad ways the Jesuit call to find God in all things as we relentlessly unpack the mysteries of creation and the human condition. Though there are literally hundreds of research projects taking place around the College right now, a few areas of note include a large-scale project on Geospatial research, and a collaborative and multidisciplinary effort to create a Water Institute at SLU, a multi-college endeavor to explore questions of social justice, racial healing and equity. Newer majors in the College include Forensic Science, Bio-Ethics, Data Science, Pharmaceutical-Chemistry and two new Master’s degrees in Computer Science. English, History, and Philosophy continue to be ranked in the top one hundred programs nationally. Our largest majors include Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, Communication and Political Science and the fastest growing major, the interdisciplinary Neuroscience degree. For evidence of our outreach to the community I would point to the continuing good work in the Micah Program and the efforts of the faculty in the College in support of the Prison Program. Indeed, these only scratch the surface of the fine teaching, research and service efforts going on in Arts and Sciences. Thank you for your interest in our work in the College and for your support and personal witness to our mission. I urge you to visit us in person and through the web to find out about the numerous good things taking place as the College of Arts and Sciences charges boldly into its next 100 years and seeks to answer the call to a higher purpose and a greater good!

Sincerely,dean signatureChristopher M. Duncan, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor College of Arts and Sciences
Saint Louis University