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Does research bring us together?

In part two of a series of campus conversations on what it means to be a liberal arts university in the 21st century, a panel of faculty will examine the important balance of teaching and research at William & Mary.

Provost HalleranThe discussion, which will be moderated by Provost Michael R. Halleran, is titled "Does Research Bring Us Together? The Blend of Teaching and Research in W&M in the 21st Century." The event, which features three faculty panelists from different disciplines, is free and open to the public. It will be held on Dec. 2 from 4 p.m. until  5:30 p.m. in Tidewater Room A of the Sadler Center on campus.

"One thread that connects the many elements of W&M as a liberal arts college is research (a word meant to convey the full range of creative production across all our programs, departments and schools)," Halleran said in a campus message. "The next public event of our conversation on W&M as a liberal arts university in the 21st century focuses on the role of research."

The event is the second in a series of campus conversations planned this academic year on what it means for William & Mary to be a liberal arts university in the 21st Century. The topic ties into the overarching grand challenge identified last year as part of the strategic planning process: for William & Mary "To be a leader among liberal arts universities. Last month, the first campus conversation examined the question "Is a Liberal Arts University Possible?"

Among the questions to be discussed Wednesday are:

  • What is the blend between and intersection of research and teaching in our liberal arts university?
  • Does research have different functions in different areas of our university?
  • How does research build connections between faculty and students?
  • How is a research-active faculty a competitive advantage for W&M?
  • Do we have the necessary infrastructure for our research efforts?
  • What can we do to ensure that we establish/maintain the right blend of teaching and research to our best advantage as we advance the institution?
  • And, what are the implications of the answers to these questions for forming priorities in the upcoming years?
Participants include Eric Jensen, professor of economics and public policy; Vassiliki Panoussi, associate professor of classical studies; and Mark Patterson, associate professor of biological sciences at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science.  Each will present a short oral version of their ideas at the event, followed by Q&A with the audience and among the panelists. Brief versions of the panelists positions are posted on the conversation Web site at