CLAS defines global mission
he College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) seeks not only to be nationally competitive, but to be a global leader in teaching, research, and service, as a few examples below illustrate.
- Area Studies — CLAS is home to area studies programs focused on Europe Africa Studies, Asia Studies, and is a major contributor to UF’s Center for Latin American Studies. We are working to develop a program in Global Islamic Studies as well.
- Innovation in teaching — Faculty in language departments, the Linguistics Program, and the English Language Institute are developing new techniques for teaching languages. For example, Franz Futterknecht leads an innovative program, with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, to improve language teaching and cultural awareness using the virtual reality site Second Life.
- Global service — UF faculty are making a difference around the world, while connecting Florida to it. The Center for African Studies recently held a conference for the business community in Tampa entitled “Doing Business with Africa: Practice, Issues and Potential.”
- International collaborative research — Faculty and students in virtually every CLAS department and program are engaged in international research collaboration. For example, Physics has a large group of faculty and students at the new Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, and designed one of the key particle detectors.
- Undergraduate research — Through Research Experience for Undergraduates grants, CLAS students conduct research with faculty on a wide range of global topics, and travel the world doing so.
In a globalizing world, this increased international emphasis will enhance our ability to meet our local, state and national missions more successfully.