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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Folt set to examine liberal arts in webcast

College officials will debate the role of a modern liberal arts education in a live webcast, entitled "Undergraduate Education: Why It's Different at Dartmouth," next month as part of an effort to reach out to alumni.

The webcast, to be held Monday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m., aims to foster a discussion between alumni and current administrators about what the term "liberal arts college" means to Dartmouth's educational mission and about how this title should influence the future of the institution.

The interactive webcast, hosted by Dartmouth Alumni Council President Rick Routhier '73, will feature Dean of the Faculty Carol Folt. Folt will address questions posed by College Trustee Al Mulley '70, and a registered online audience can submit questions via e-mail.

The webcast will discuss the meaning of the College's mission statement, which declares that the College "combines the best features of an undergraduate liberal arts college with the intellectual vitality of a research university." In recent years, some alumni have questioned whether Dartmouth should aspire to be a research university or a small liberal arts college.

In her presentation, Folt plans to discuss how to strike a balance between maintaining traditional teaching values and creating an educational culture that supports risk taking and intellectual curiosity.

Central questions Folt will cover include how the size of a school matters in a liberal arts education, the importance of interaction between students and scholars and how a liberal arts education can help people understand and influence our world. Finally, Folt will talk about how international perspective and global ideas are increasingly a part of the current Dartmouth experience.

Participants in the webcast will also debate questions more central to students experiences at Dartmouth, specifically whether undergraduates are receiving the quality of education they expect and deserve, whether research and teaching can both be emphasized at a liberal arts college and what attracts faculty to Dartmouth or keeps them away.

Participants can register to view the webcast at