Inside Iowa State
October 8, 1999

Profs plead for lifeboat berth

by Steve Sullivan
Professors are accustomed to hearing pleas from students. On Oct. 12 and 14, the tables will turn in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"LAS 101 — The Final Episode," the last class in the college’s eight-week freshman orientation program, will feature five LAS professors pleading for the preservation of their disciplines.

"Our premise is that despite all our Y2K preparations, civilization as we know it will end on Dec. 30," said Dan Rice, LAS academic adviser and class host. "Iowa State, however, has a lifeboat that can accommodate representatives from three areas of study. The professors will make a case for their areas, and hundreds of new ISU freshmen will get to decide which get into the lifeboat."

The class begins at 7:45 a.m. in 117 MacKay. Guests are welcome.

"We anticipate the professors will make passionate pleas about their areas of study, and the students will leave the event with a deeper appreciation of the value of a liberal arts education," Rice said.

The professors will talk about the value of their areas of study and how they have contributed to civilization. The study areas and pleading professors are:

  • Arts and humanities: Robert Hollinger, philosophy.
  • Communication: Barbara Mack, journalism and mass communication.
  • Mathematical disciplines: W. Robert Stephenson, statistics.
  • Natural science: Eugenia Farrar, zoology and genetics.
  • Social sciences: Hal Pepinksy, sociology.

"It’s a fun idea, and it forces us to think about who we are as human beings and what makes us valuable as animals on the planet," Mack said. "The nice part, of course, is that there is room for everybody in the intellectual lifeboat."

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