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Faculty Forum Papers

November 1975 - Whither CLA?
By
Stephen J. Hawkes
Chemistry

October 21, 1975


    Professor Hovland's letter in the October issue seems to suppose that if we had a vastly improved College of Liberal Arts there would be fruitful dialog between the faculties of science and humanities leading to improved understanding and informed discussion on the technological-humanitarian issues of our time.

    There would not.

    Scientists and humanitarians would remain in their separate colleges and, if they have dialog on these issues at all, would find it in regional or national forums. There is no substantial reason for OSU to supply anything other than scientists to these. Let Eugene supply the humanitarians.

    Neither would our students have the benefit of the dual education. In 18 hours of H. and S.S. our science students will continue to get introductions to History and English Literature and so forth, while students of the humanities get the beginning sequence of professional science programs. In neither case will they be equipped with the sophistication for a multidisciplinary approach to sociotechnological problems. The difficulties inherent in the general education of our students are formidable, but there is no reason to suppose that prestigious College of Liberal Arts would proportionately improve the University's ability to resolve them or even improve it significantly at all.