College of Liberal Arts

Extending the Academy Through Public Scholarship

COLA faculty, students and staff share strategies for community outreach

Faculty, staff and students in the College of Liberal Arts work with a variety of audiences and partners outside of the university in teaching, research and service activities that bring new ideas and new knowledge into the public sphere.

Since campus “public intellectuals” rarely have the opportunity to meet and learn from each other’s outreach experiences, the college’s Office of the Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies hosted a day-long workshop, “Engaging Academia: A Spotlight on Public Scholarship” on Dec. 10, 2013 at the Julius Glickman Conference Center in the College of Liberal Arts Building.

Sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Bringing Theory to Practice initiative, the workshop brought together faculty, students and staff from a variety of disciplines in the college, and included a keynote address by Michael Gillette, executive director of Humanities Texas.

Dean Randy Diehl opened the workshop by stressing the need for faculty and students to take the time to address issues of general importance to the public.

“UT Austin must have public intellectuals in order to be a university of the highest order,” Diehl said.  “The public needs to reconnect the value of public scholarship to the greater good. They need to feel a sense of ownership and believe that the university is a valuable asset to society that they must invest in and protect.”

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Image credit: Jim Nix / Flickr