Moore, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, aims to move RIT's liberal
arts curriculum into the technology era. The University Magazine
caught up with Moore last fall to unearth his interests and his
plans for the college.
passion for archaeology, coupled with a pragmatic nature (not
to mention hard work and a successful career), are what brought
Andrew Moore to academia and thus to RIT. His keen responsiveness
to history and his bold vision for education's future give him
the foundation to push RIT's College of Liberal Arts into the
forefront of humanities curricula in technical institutions.
came to RIT after a nine-year stint as associate dean in the Yale
University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Anthropology
brought him to Yale in 1983, when he was hired as an assistant
professor in that department.
moment he opened a book on archaeology at age 12, Andrew Moore
went in fervent pursuit of antiquity: "The human past gripped
me; its hold has never diminished," he says, seated in his second-floor
office. From the age of 16, Moore made himself part of excavations
in England, so enamored of archaeology that he would have made
it his lifework. "But I had to make a living. It was clear that
jobs in archaeology were few. I chose the academic track."
his academic career, though, Moore has "dug" as well as taught
archaeology. As an undergraduate at Oxford University, Moore saw
his first dig in the Mideast. That led to the excavation of Abu
Hureyra in Syria, yielding the oldest evidence of farming in the
world. As director of the Jericho Project, Moore surveys Tell
es-Sultan, the site of ancient Jericho, and the surrounding Jordan
Valley. "The evolution of society in biological and ecological
terms fascinates me . . . the human past is everybody's past.
At one time or another there has been a major advancement in every
area of the world," he says. "Archaeology gets to our common humanity.
Understandings from our human past give us the self knowledge
needed to survive and continue to thrive."
his plans for the College of Liberal Arts? Moore sees a future
where the liberal-arts curriculum at RIT intertwines with technology,
rather than sits alongside it. Philosophy courses, for example,
might consider the ethics of a new technology; the social sciences
could help students adapt to cultural differences in the global
marketplace they will eventually work within.
school education has metamorphosed," he says. "Students come to
RIT with an innate knowledge of the uses of technology and enjoy
an energetic and dynamic learning environment." RIT humanities
courses must address that change, he says. A faculty committee
looking at the new ways students learn will develop some proposals
to accommodate that style, he says. Committee members will consider
class size, for example, as well as incorporating new technology
into the liberl arts classroom.
see more research opportunities in the liberal arts, with an interdisciplinary
approach to teaching and research," Moore says.
there is evidence of the value of the study of the humanities
in a technological world. Such study will provide a richer and
more engaging evironment for RIT students."