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Johns Hopkins UniversityArts and Sciences Magazine


“I come from an institution that can explain its general education requirements very simply: We leave a great deal to student choice, and we attract to Hopkins students who value that responsibility for making those choices and who are motivated to take charge of their education. Learning about how to make such choices is part of their education. And, when they own those decisions about what they choose to study, they are more inclined to be interested and enthusiastic about their courses.

…I have also accepted the fact that the world is not really so poorly served if we let a few biology majors get a little overabsorbed in the laboratory so that they are doing more independent research than reading Milton. If they are following their passion, who am I to say that they are not investing their time wisely? And, if one of these persons cures a disease in the process, is it my place to suggest that they might have been happier if they had been educated on my terms and knew a little more art history and a little less biochemistry?”

— Arts and Sciences Dean of Undergraduate Education Paula Burger, excerpted from remarks she gave recently at a conference where academicians were discussing the Report of the California Commission, which makes recommendations for new general education requirements in undergraduate curriculums.

Dean Paula BurgerPaula Burger, Dean of Undergraduate Education