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The faculty members who have contributed essays to this section of the Whitman Magazine, each a holder of an endowed chair or professorship, exemplify the Whitman ideal of the teacher-scholar. As the essays make clear, each author is involved in research at the cutting edge of his or her discipline. This scholarly engagement ultimately contributes to the overall intellectual vitality of the Whitman community, and, in particular, the academic program the college offers its students.

I encourage readers to pay special attention to the authors’ responses to the question asking them to indicate their “dream” department, research project, and/or teaching opportunity. There, you will find a host of creative ideas that are well worth serious consideration and support in the future. Also note that several contributors indicate that their current department at Whitman is in fact their “dream” department. That is a fitting testament to the entire faculty’s commitment to offer to Whitman students, past, present, and future, the very best possible liberal arts education.

– Timothy Kaufman-Osborn, Provost and Dean of the Faculty


Looking back and to the future, faculty write about their respective disciplines and what the changes in their fields mean to students.

Cognitive science

Life sciences







Marine biology


Faculty portraits by Greg Lehman

Background: The three-story atrium in Hunter Conservatory, renovated and restored in 1998.

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