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Anthropology Mission Statement

The Anthropology Program is an academic unit within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas-Pan American. The program has been established to facilitate accomplishing the University’s mission to meet the higher education needs of the citizenry of South Texas and the state of Texas. The program is committed to excellence in instruction, student performance, research, scholarly accomplishment and professional service in the discipline of anthropology.

The Anthropology Program strives to fulfill its responsibilities by providing quality undergraduate academic programs in anthropology. Emphasis is placed on exposing students to a holistic approach to anthropology that incorporates the three major subfields -- cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and archaeology. At the graduate level, the program provides opportunities for student with baccalaureate degrees to fulfill an anthropology concentration for an interdisciplinary master’s degree and to fulfill required graduate hours outside one’s field of study to earn a master’s degree in various disciplines at the University. The Anthropology program is committed to providing an environment of academic freedom and academic responsibility so that faculty may develop and implement successful teaching activities that ensure high standards of instruction and student performance.

The program recognizes that its faculty has a commitment to those research and creative activities indicative of scholarly excellence. The program attempts to nurture and support such activities so that faculty may maintain currency in their knowledge of subject matter, vibrancy in their teaching, dedication to their respective disciplines, and interest in extending the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding.

The Anthropology Program is also committed to providing effective instructional opportunities for all students at the university, regardless of their major area of concentration. The program attempts to meet this goal by providing students with instruction in several areas of study that ground the liberal arts tradition. To this end, the program provides instructional opportunities for all students to develop further the following characteristics indicative of a university-educated person:

  1. Learning about anthropology fosters an inquiring attitude that acknowledges the many-sided nature of most important questions, recognizes the need to examine inherited judgments and reveals a desire for continued learning and creative expression.
  2. A holistic approach to anthropology hones a person’s ability to use words accurately and effectively and to communicate clearly in oral and written formats.
  3. Anthropological thinking nurtures the ability to analyze complex problems and to synthesize facts and ideas.
  4. Exposure to the field of anthropology encourages an appreciation for the responsibilities of the individual to family and society; skill serving as a constructive member in groups and organizations; and sensitivity to the need for informed, independent, moral and ethical decisions.
  5. Learning about anthropology increases knowledge about political and social systems in the United States and other nations, and their interrelationships; such multicultural perspectives can foster greater understanding, tolerance and respect for different lifestyles and viewpoints.
  6. Anthropology encourages an understanding of self, along with an empathy for the strengths, weaknesses, rights and needs of others, as well as the ability to relate to others with human understanding.

The Anthropology Program is also committed to sponsoring service activities that meet the intellectual and cultural interest of the University and the community that the University serves.