Ursinus Professor Biology Robert Dawley has been invited to participate in a prestigious symposium on the liberal arts and core curriculum, at Columbia University this fall. The symposium is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is chaired by Andrew Delbanco, who is Director of American Studies at Columbia and the Levi Professor in the Humanities there.
Delbanco, the Ursinus 2010 Commencement speaker, has written about Ursinus’ Common Intellectual Experience class which is required of all first-year students, who read the same classic writings and engage in lively discussions. Dawley, a longtime faculty member and coordinator of the CIE program, is a Professor of Biology who specializes in evolution and ecology.
“CIE has always been worth the effort for me, not only for the sake of the students, whom I believe benefit from it enormously, but because of the greater meaning it has given to my own life,” he said. “But it is also good to see that it enhancing our reputation – as it should – within the larger sphere of higher education. “
Delbanco, who wrote in the New York Times Magazine that he admired the Common Intellectual Experience, wrote to Dawley that he feels that symposium participants would be interested in hearing about the challenges and rewards of its creation, and about its continuing value to faculty and students. The forum is by invitation only to approximately 25 accomplished scholar/teachers, public intellectuals, and representatives from public and private funding organizations.