The Department of Sociology, a unit of the School of Social Research and Justice Studies of the College of Liberal Arts, is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service in the best tradition of a liberal arts education. The department prides itself in providing a quality education to its majors, minors and graduate students. It is also committed to serving the larger university community by participation in such programs as the Silver Core Curriculum.
As part of a research-oriented discipline, the department is committed to the production of new knowledge. This goal is accomplished by ongoing faculty research, supervision of graduate and undergraduate student theses, directing independent research, and critically evaluating past research in order to contribute and to provide alternative theoretical schemes.
The department is committed to the transmission of knowledge, both old and new, within the context of a liberal arts tradition. The teaching functions of the department are carried out in many diverse but complementary fashions; classroom and on-line instruction, tutorials, internships, reading groups, discussion groups, informal discussion and debate, assignment of supervised projects, supervised independent reading, counseling of students, and serving on student committees. Within this liberal arts tradition, the department views one of its major functions to be that of providing the student with alternative ways of interpreting social processes. Our commitment is to both graduate and undergraduate education. We view sociology as a discipline that requires scientific rigor in the critical analysis of societal processes.
As a service unit, the department contributes in several different ways. Foremost, of course, are the teaching and research functions. Through their intimate relations with each other, teaching and research provide the basis for addressing old problems from new perspectives; they also provide the possibility for examining novel problems from perspectives, which are critical of preconceived solutions. In other words, some of our major bases for service center on the production of knowledge and provisions for creative and critical dialogue, which inform outreach activities of the department. Several areas of contribution for these professional services are: engaging in college and university committee work, and providing service to various governmental, civic, and professional groups.