Dr. Scott Crider of the English Department has recently been named associate dean of the Constantin College of Liberal Arts.
Previous associate deans include celebrated professor Dr. Marcy Brown-Marsden and university archivist Mrs. Sybil Novinski. “When the president, the provost and the new dean asked me to take this position … I was very honored,” Crider said with a smile.
Crider’s credentials for the position include his previous work as director of both the Seven Arts of Language Program and the Writing Program. He also helped arrange a conference on the University of Dallas’ Core curriculum, which included talks by UD faculty members.
These experiences will be helpful when it comes to working closely with students, which will be the primary focus of his work. He will especially work with students whose questions concern issues beyond the scope of the students’ professors or even their departments. “For example, this year, I will work a lot with transfer students on [their requirements for] graduation,” Crider said. “As associate dean, I am responsible for new student and transfer student orientation, advising and registration. I attend class meetings, working with seniors on graduation. And I am in charge of academic discipline.”
He will partner with Dr. Sanford, newly appointed dean of Constantin College, who will act as academic leader for the college and work with faculty and other members of the administration.
The two deans will work in tandem to accomplish Sanford’s threefold plan. This plan includes implementing UD’s primary mission of intellectual formation, strengthening its role in forming the liberal arts paradigm and enhancing its reputation, as Sanford outlined in an interview for an article published in the Aug. 27 edition of the University News.
“I take great pleasure in conversing with Dr. Sanford about UD’s character and history,” Crider said.
Crider said his first objective is to learn how to do his job well. He stated that he has already learned a great deal about the university in his new capacity as associate dean, even though this will be his 21st year at UD.
“I would like to help Dr. Sanford in his initiatives,” Crider said of his other goals as associate dean. “He has a good sense of UD: of who we are, what we do and what we do well. [My objective is to] help our teachers and students better understand how liberal arts education informs the individual.”
Crider seemed especially passionate about what he referred to as the “characteristics of Constantin College, that is, a robust Core curriculum, a singular Rome experience and strong majors.”
He also talked about Cardinal John Henry Newman’s book, “The Idea of a University,” which says that liberal education is good in and of itself. In other words, Crider clarified, a liberal arts education is good even before it is useful.
“We do a good job, I think, of escaping two common approaches to contemporary education, both ‘all-core’ and ‘all-major,’ plus a modicum of general education courses that students don’t take seriously,” Crider said.
Crider will be taking a sabbatical from teaching for the academic year, to instead focus on both his work as associate dean and his pursuit of a Master’s degree in theology, which will involve a class with Fr. Thomas Esposito this semester and comprehensive exams in the spring.
Crider said that if he continues in his current position next year, he will teach one class each semester, which is standard for faculty administrators. He made it clear that he will not be a permanent administrator and that he certainly plans to return to the classroom full time.