Phillip Sloan was overwhelming elected as the new President of ACTC by the membership of ACTC in September 2003 and has assumed his office with both the dignity and energy members expected of him.
Phil Sloan is the professor and chair of the Program for Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Over the last seven years, Phil has been an absolutely tireless advocate and supporter of ACTC. He was one of our first plenary speakers, one who brought substance and respect to ACTC with his address. An ACTC Board member, he sought institutional support from Notre Dame very early in ACTC’s existence when the organization was struggling for recognition from universities and colleges. He successfully sought to bring the sixth annual conference to the University of Notre Dame. He has found prominent speakers for our conference and encouraged a dialogue between the sciences and humanities through many conference papers. He recently co-authored the three-year syllabus in ACTC’s successful grant proposal, “Bridging the Gap Between the Humanities and Sciences,” to the National Endowment for the Humanities. A true gentleman and scholar, he in every way exemplifies what is good about ACTC.
As President, Phil brings an impressive scholarly voice and a commitment to core text teaching that is hard to match, even among the many outstanding members of ACTC. Originally trained in biology and chemistry, with a specialization in evolutionary biology, he received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego (1970), with a specialization in the history and philosophy of science. His research area is the history and philosophy of the life sciences in the modern period with publications on the history of evolutionary theory, Enlightenment natural history, and intellectual history. He has also worked in the history and philosophy of recent genetics and molecular biology. He is a Fellow of Section L of the AAAS. A tireless advocate of core programs at Notre Dame, he is as at ease in a freshman seminar of great works of the West and the world as he is as in a senior seminar of great works on genetics.
At the ninth annual conference, in Atlanta, Phil gave his inaugural address, “Core Liberal Education and the Research University: Rethinking an Old Conflict,” in which he argued strongly that we must maintain the place of core text, thoughtful curricula within the university and collegiate context.
This year, as ACTC has expanded its plans and operations, Phil has been invaluable in his insight, counsel, support and vision for ACTC’s growth. ACTC is fortunate to have had his distinguished membership and now doubly fortunate to have him elected as our second President.