Themed-Year: Conceptualizing Arts & Sciences at Thirty

The School of Arts & Sciences' (A&S) mission is to foster a community of learners who thrive by questioning, knowing, and acting. A&S prepares our students to be committed lifelong learners who challenge societal and intellectual barriers, who provide ethical leadership, and who lead sustainable and meaningful lives. The themed-year programming that grew out of the Concept 30 Strategic Plan has helped A&S to demonstrate how the academic disciplines are foundational to our students' preparation. Themed years have helped us to think together about societal challenges and have encouraged us to see how together, as a community, we have the tools that the world needs.

For School's thirtieth anniversary in 2021, "Conceptualizing Arts & Sciences at Thirty" was itself a theme. The Dean extended an invitation for the A&S community to reflect broadly on the role of Arts & Sciences disciplines in the 21st century, locally and globally, and opportunities to demonstrate how our disciplinary prisms can be brought to bear upon the world around us. As an example, A&S has invited the Philosophy Born of Struggle community to host their 2021 conference at the School of Arts & Sciences, University of Richmond.

For upcoming, one-time funding in 2020-2021, the Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, along with recommendations from Budget, Priorities, and Planning Committee (BPRC), continued to consider a broad range of requests that address the needs of departments, programs, and units. In addition, the Dean expressed interest in proposals that squarely "conceptualize" Arts & Sciences, broadly:

  1. programs and activities that reflect deeply and constructively upon arts and sciences disciplines in the here and now (such as Philosophy Born of Struggle does);
  2. programs and activities that specifically consider "inter-discipline," or "trans-disciplinary" approaches, i.e., how working across arts and sciences disciplines deepens our knowledge and ability to solve problems; or
  3. challenges to 1) and 2), in the here and now: questioning regarding the current state of play in liberal arts education, problems and strains on the current paradigm of universities and colleges, or systemic problems and challenges as they pertain specifically to the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Richmond. Thank you for considering the themed year and A&S at thirty in your planning for the 2020-21 academic year.