American Liberal Arts Blog

Teaching the Liberal Arts in the American Context

Gerson Moreno-Riano

Four Immigrants
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on October 28, 2010

Thirty years ago, on October 27, 1980 at 3:30 pm, a family of four immigrants arrived at Miami International Airport - a father, a mother, two young children, two suitcases, a duffle bag, and $500 US dollars.  These were the humble American beginnings of my arrival to the United States as a nine year old child.

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Turning to the Dark Side of the Force
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on October 25, 2010

“You’ve crossed over to the dark side, my friend.”  This was how one of my colleagues greeted the news that after a five-month national search I had been appointed to serve as dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies. Does academic leadership in such an administrative post mean going over to the “dark side?”

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The Echo Chamber Syndrome Disarmed
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on October 04, 2010

At the most recent meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), the Lehrman American Studies Center sponsored two faculty initiatives: a short course and a working group on the topic of statesmanship and democracy.  Both of these efforts are part of a substantive set of initiatives on the part of the Center to reach audiences beyond its traditional constituency.  It is great to report that both efforts were quite successful.

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Romanticism and American Higher Education
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on July 05, 2010

Two tensions have characterized American higher education – one focuses on education as the craft of shaping the soul while the other focuses on education as the passive process of facilitating natural development.  The first has been advanced by the likes of Plato, Augustine, Thomas Jefferson, Leo Strauss, and Allan Bloom.  It is rooted in the ancient Greeks, the Judeo-Christian worldview, and the Enlightenment.  The second has been championed by the likes of Rousseau, Schelling, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dewey.  It is rooted in European Romanticism and its American acceptance.

Read the rest.

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Three Visions for American Higher Education
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on June 24, 2010

For the past few weeks I have engaged in a lot of soul searching concerning the mission of higher education and of us faculty.  What is the mission of higher education?  What is the purpose of faculty?  Amidst my reflections, I have come across some thought-provoking observations that are important to consider.  Here are just a few:

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On Cultural Exceptionalism
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on April 21, 2010

I have just returned from a trip to Italy.  I spent several days in Rome and gave a paper on the 14thcentury Dominican theologian and philosopher John of Paris at the Renaissance Society of America conference in Venice.  This was my second time in Italy and I spent a lot of time in Rome researching the changing conceptions of Christian theology as evidenced through the lenses of art and architecture.  In Rome, one cannot ignore all of the ruins and excavations related to the Roman Empire.  The glory that was Rome is in full display.  Walking by the Forum Romanum, the Via Appia Antica, the Colosseum, and other ancient Roman sites, I asked myself the following question – was the Roman Empire exceptional?

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Tenure: Assessing the Quality of a Candidate
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on March 31, 2010

One of the greatest concerns for junior faculty is the acquisition of tenure.  Most American universities characterize tenure in terms of three vital components: teaching, scholarship, and service.  While these components are clearly distinguishable, it is important for tenure candidates to consider them as a whole, not as fragmented and mutually exclusive aspects of faculty life.

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about the author

Gerson Moreno-Riano
Gerson Moreno-Riano

Gerson Moreno-Riano has been appointed as Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies at Regent University.  He is also an associate professor of government at Regent.  He has been at Regent since 2006.

Moreno-Riano's latest publications include the co-authored The Prospect of Internet Democracy (Ashgate, 2009) and the edited volume The World of Marsilius of Padua (Brepols, 2007).  He is currently at work on two commissioned projects: 1) a companion to Marsilius of Padua and 2) organizational evil in the modern era.