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Message from the Dean

Message from the Constantin Dean

Philip J. Harold, Ph.D.

The Constantin College of Liberal Arts houses all the undergraduate programs at the University of Dallas, the 1,500 undergraduate students, and the faculty who teach them in the humanities and sciences, and in our distinctive Core Curriculum. The namesake of Constantin College since 1971, and one of the founders of the University, Eugene Constantin, Jr. (1896-1973), was dedicated to making the University of Dallas into a great university.

Students in Constantin College study the great works and deeds of Western Civilization in our distinctive and rigorous Core Curriculum. The aim of this education is not just to impart knowledge understood as information and skills, but for students to become certain types of people. The development of character comes from the imitation of what is loved. The study of noble words and actions, and the pursuit of truth in the sciences and the humanities, aims to create persons with high character and integrity, individuals capable of following a calling and living it out, leaders able to discern what is true and then to act on it responsibly with others.

In the Core, students encounter some of the very best texts of the Western tradition, in their full breadth. We take the time to read great works closely and grapple with them, rather than the superficial exposure to the diluted version of a tradition one gets in textbooks or edited snippets. We are not, however, a "great books" college. Students must choose one of our twenty-five majors and submit to its discipline. Students often take advantage of our more than forty concentrations as well, many of them interdisciplinary, to enhance their studies. Importantly, however, the Core itself is not just a historical march through great works, in a chronology that leads to the present. Rather, it is recursive, jumping backwards and forwards, and handling foundational texts for the purposes of answering big questions about the human condition. Truth can be found in the answers to questions that concern the meaning of human life, the nature of the divine, the substance of good government, or the essence of true heroism. This is an education that is not immediately practical; it demands that we think more broadly than accomplishing a given task or occupation. It is nevertheless necessary for the educated person to pursue truth about the questions that contextualize our social practices, if we are not to be resigned to acting in ignorance of their ultimate nature.

A curriculum can be rigorous on paper, but it requires excellent, experienced faculty to teach it. We have such teachers in the Constantin College of Liberal Arts. The talent, drive, and curiosity of our students are met by exceptional professors who prioritize teaching and have high standards for our undergraduates. With all students pursuing a major and taking our Core Curriculum, our campus has a higher density of excellent conversations than probably anywhere else, and our students graduate being well-read, knowing how to write, and with outcomes that are unsurpassed.

Thank you for your interest in the Constantin College of Liberal Arts. Please learn more about our College here, click here if you are thinking about studying at UD, or here to support our work and our students.

 

 Sincerely,

Philip J. Harold, Ph.D.
Dean of Constantin College
Professor of Politics

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