Professor Howard Wettstein to Direct University Honors Program

By Kathryn Webber, Managing Graduate Student Editor of CHASS College Computing

Professor of Philosophy, Howard Wettstein, has recently been chosen from an impressive pool of applicants to direct the University Honors Program (UHP). As a former instructor of the honors seminars offered by the UHP, Professor Wettstein was aware of the importance of this program in giving students increased contact with professors. Now, as director, Professor Wettstein has many ideas about the direction in which he would like to take the program.

He credits the dedicated staff of the University Honors Program with building a successful, cohesive community. Their commitment to the UHP has guaranteed its place at UCR over 15 years after its initial beginnings. With this strong foundation already in place, Professor Wettstein sees his directorship as an opportunity to expand some facets of the program while strengthening others.

One aspect of the University Honors Program which Professor Wettstein would like to develop is its interdisciplinary appeal. This project would seek to involve faculty and students from colleges currently underrepresented in the UHP such as the College of Engineering. By broadening the range of courses and students, Professor Wettstein hopes to continue building a community which will function as a small liberal arts college within a large university setting.

While Professor Wettstein is directing this important campus-wide program, he continues to play an important role in CHASS with the publication of his new book, The Magic Prism: An Essay on the Philosophy of Language. This work explores the complex relationship between language and the perception of the outside world. Through this text, Professor Wettstein has been credited with bringing a topic normally reserved for specialists into mainstream academic discussion. The Philosophy Department and the Center for Ideas and Society will be celebrating the book’s release with a conference and reception on December 1 in HMNSS 1500 beginning at 12, noon. The keynote speakers for this event include John Perry, Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, Robin Jeshion, Professor of Philosophy at UC Riverside, Barry Stroud, Professor of Philosophy at UC Berkeley, and Peter Graham, Professor of Philosophy at UC Riverside.

Please consult Prof. Wettstein’s faculty page for more information about his research. See the Center for Ideas and Society’s website or the Department of Philosophy’s website for access to event listings as well as information about faculty research interests. The University Honors Program webpage offers a detailed account of their curriculum.

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