Panel considers value of a liberal arts education

The Dartmouth

September 20, 2013

By Ashley See

College President Phil Hanlon and Dean of the Faculty Michael Mastanduno moderated a panel on Thursday about the value of liberal arts education as national debate on its relevance to career preparedness in an increasingly technical job market continues...

...Panelists included physics and astronomy professor Stephon Alexander, history professor Leslie Butler, College trustee Annette Gordon-Reed ’81, Dean of Thayer School of Engineering Joseph Helble and English professor Donald Pease...

Helble addressed Dartmouth’s five-year liberal arts and engineering program, where students earn bachelor’s of arts and bachelor’s of engineering degrees. He said he did not see the missions of liberal arts and engineering programs as separate.

“The liberal arts teaches us to question, explore broadly and ask ‘why?’,” he said. “I think engineering complements that well by teaching us to ask ‘why not?’”

Noah Rickerich ’16 said he saw similarities between liberal arts and engineering programs.

“I was very compelled by Joseph Helble’s mandate to include engineering as a liberal art and apply what we’re learning here at Dartmouth in a more practical and solution-oriented sense,” he said. “I think in the future the two will be intrinsically linked.”

Read full article