College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Service to the State

Dean Glenn Hopkins

A great public university embraces teaching that helps transform and enrich the lives of students.  A great public university embraces research and creative work that broadens and deepens our understanding of the natural world and our understanding of human behavior, thought, and experience.  And, though sometimes less prominently, a great public university also embraces service and looks for ways to use its intellectual capital to solve problems outside the academy.

The College has long been involved in service, and our special section in this issue highlights the efforts of four of our departments to address important needs in Mississippi public schools.

While most of the 20 departments in the College have been involved in service, we have not been intentional in finding ways to bring the expertise and knowledge of the College to bear on solving problems outside the academy.  We should do so, and, at the urging of Chancellor Jones, we have begun to think more about service to the community, state, nation, and world, and how we can work as assiduously, and purposefully, toward our service mission as we do our missions for teaching and scholarship.

To identify ways we can help, we applied for, and were awarded, a grant from AmeriCorp.   Beginning in July, we will be an official host site for AmeriCorps’s VISTA program.  A VISTA, or Volunteer in Service to America, will be working in the College full time to assist faculty members and departments interested in developing projects aimed at combating poverty in our region. I look forward to reporting to you next year on what we have learned and the plans we have made.

I note that this newsletter, View from Ventress, is moving more online with a limited printing run.  This will allow us to provide more in-depth coverage of newsworthy events, programs, and people in the College.  This move also helps save money in these difficult economic times, and contributes toward the University of Mississippi’s “Green Initiative”.  Please visit www.ViewfromVentress.org for additional news of the College.

I do hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter.  Please let me hear from you (662-915-7178 or libarts@olemiss.edu) if you have comments or questions about any of the articles in the newsletter.  Our success would not be possible without our friends and alumni, and on behalf of everyone in the College of Liberal Arts, I express our deep appreciation for your continuing support.