Faculty members have many responsibilities at a major research university. We expect faculty members to be accomplished scholars who publish and create new works in their fields. We expect them to help bring the resources of the university to bear on problems outside of the academy. These areas are important and necessary for a great public university, and our faculty members excel in research and service. They also excel in teaching. Faculty take seriously their responsibility to provide effective and thoughtful instruction. As teachers, they change and enrich the lives of our students.
It is likely that you remember a teacher from your days at this university. Maybe this teacher was a gifted lecturer, or had a way of bringing difficult ideas into focus, or was able to stimulate you to think in new ways. Maybe you remember a teacher for offering needed support and encouragement at a difficult time or, perhaps, a stern lecture when needed. For whatever reason, this teacher had a salutary effect on your university days. For whatever reason, this teacher positively affected your life.
In this issue of View from Ventress – see the story inside about why we are currently in exile from Ventress – we begin with a feature that highlights some extraordinary teachers who have made a difference in the lives of students. These teachers were suggested to us by alumni and friends of the university. We have covered a span of 123 years with these choices, and you may find teachers you remember in the list. We also invite you to suggest faculty members you would like to see profiled in the future. Just send a note to the College of Liberal Arts, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677 or email us. You can also respond on Facebook or Twitter. Even if we cannot feature all the faculty members proposed, we will respond individually with information about the faculty member you suggest.
Excellent teaching continues apace in the College with the university experiencing it largest enrollment ever in 2011-2012. As I write this column (in late June), we are predicting another record enrollment for 2012-2013. We in the College are committed to providing an excellent education to all of our students, and to help us meet the increasing demands for classes, we have hired some 30 new professors who will begin this fall. We will soon publish our faculty brochure with short biographies of new faculty members. That information will also be on our webpage at www.libarts.olemiss.edu. I think you will agree that this year’s class of new faculty is strong and promising. We look forward to their contributions to our mission of teaching, research, and service.
If you are on campus, please do stop in. We are right now in Lester Hall, but should be back in Ventress near the end of the fall semester. For all of those who have supported the College this year with gifts, please accept my deep gratitude. It is those gifts that provide the margin of excellence for the College. If you are interested in contributing this year, visit the College page on the UM Foundation website.
Thank you for your continuing support of the College. We look forward to hearing from you soon.