USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
We would be wise to remember as we are increasingly confronted with challenges to the form and function of higher education, that the mentorship of undergraduates is the central mission of liberal education. It is the thing that sets us apart from vocational and online programs that have led some to question the value of traditional university education. We are not only in the business of imparting technical skill and canonized knowledge.
We are in the business of encouraging students to take seriously not only their ability to commit these things to memory but also their ability to contribute to technological and/or the canonical developments that are bound to impact their lives and human life more generally. We hope that they become not only knowledgeable but conversant on the issues of the day, so that they may contribute meaningfully to the resolutions thereof. All of this calls on us to nurture their intellect in a way that is best done inside AND outside our classrooms and offices. I have taken great pleasure in doing so.