The study of the humanities and arts is not a luxury but an absolute necessity. A university education that prioritizes the arts and humanities remains not only relevant, it is essential as students prepare to encounter, understand, and become productive citizens in the world. The department must seek not only to have a seat at the table, but to lead institutional conversations about its purpose and goals. A humanities and arts department must distinguish itself and its mission to educate and to enrich not only its students but also its community. I will elaborate on core values – equity, diversity, and inclusion; collaboration; curiosity and inquiry; creativity and innovation; and academic and artistic excellence – and how they translate into a strategic plan for a 21st century Department of Humanities and Arts.
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