Our departmental mission is to serve our students, our state, our nation, and the world, by embodying and demonstrating the values to be derived from knowing ancient and modern languages and cultures. We do this by nurturing and supporting the teaching, research, and service missions of a top-quality faculty; by offering and maintaining a comprehensive range of challenging language and professional development programs; by attracting and retaining a diverse student body; and by promoting innovative research among faculty and students.
Our department is housed in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and we believe ourselves to be central to the fulfillment of the mission of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, adopted from Senator Fulbright’s writings, as follows:
... the highest function of higher education is the teaching of things in perspective, toward the purposes of enriching the life of the individual, cultivating the free and inquiring mind, and advancing the effort to bring reason, justice, and humanity...
J. William Fulbright was the creator of the renowned Fulbright Scholarship Program, established to promote international understanding and global academic exchange. We seek to do this by embodying and instilling in our students the values of full-fledged global citizenship, which requires the kind of deep cultural understanding that only truly comes with progress towards mastery of other languages.
World Language education has been around at the University of Arkansas as long as the university itself, and we are privileged to carry on this long tradition. Over the years, our language programs have come and gone and returned and seen many departmental configurations. Our current configuration as a Department of Foreign Languages dates back to 1949, and we made the change to our current department name in 2009.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION IN OUR DEPARTMENT
As the department at the heart of the University of Arkansas’s mission to educate students in intercultural competency, World Languages, Literatures and Cultures is dedicated to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. This includes but is not limited to incorporating multiple points of view into our curriculum, removing barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of our diverse faculty, staff and students, and seeking out opportunities for ongoing learning about these issues.
Our commitment to academic rigor in research means we promote scholarship that fosters solidarity and pushes us to expand the limits of our disciplines to include a wider variety of voices and perspectives. An ongoing emphasis on providing quality teaching includes creating classroom atmospheres and working spaces that are open and hospitable for our students from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. As a department, we understand that celebrating diversity and placing inclusivity at the center of our work leads to the highest caliber of participation and service to our respective fields, to each other and to our community.