Academic Affairs

Visiting Scholar-Teachers

The Vacca Chair of Liberal Arts, an Eminent Scholars chair, is named for its original benefactor, State Senator Paschal P. Vacca. His donation of $600,000 qualified UM to receive $400,000 in matching state funds in 1985, Interest from this original endowment has made it possible to bring to campus distinguished scholar-teachers to serve as Vacca Professor of Liberal Arts.

The Vacca Professor teaches seminars that range beyond the usual disciplinary boundaries, interacts with students and faculty, and contributes fresh perspectives to the learning experience at UM. In recent years the Vacca program has expanded to include scholars who bring global perspectives.

Scholar-teachers holding the Vacca Chair of Liberal Arts, along with their areas of specialization, include:

  • Myron Beasley, African American Studies Through Cultural Production (Bates College, 2016-2017)
  • Marli Rosa, Brazilian Culture and Civilization, (Fulbright Scholar, University of the Latin American Integration, 2012 – 2013)
  • Dan Deffenbaugh, Environmental Studies (Hastings College, Fall 2010)
  • Graeme Harper, Creativity: Actions, Artifacts & Them Apples (Bangor University, Wales, 2009 – 2010)
  • Dmitry Goncharov, Post-Communism Politics (Moscow State Law Academic, 2006 – 2007)
  • John C. Morrison, Astronomy for Poets (University of Louisville, Spring 2003)
  • Sena Jeter Naslund, Advanced Creative Writing (University of Louisville, Spring 2003)
  • Leonidas Donskis, Politics and Literature (University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 2001-2002)
  • Robert Wendzel, American’s World Role in the 21st Century (Air War College, Spring 2001)
  • Mary Eleanor Clark, The Ethics of Environmental Issues (George Mason University, Spring 1994)
  • Ronald Ayling, Politics, Place, and Culture; Politics and the Arts (University of Alberta, Fall 1992 & Spring 1993)
  • James Rogers, Ethics in Business/Global Perspective for Life in the 21st Century, (Columbia University, Spring 1992)
  • Edmund Lambeth, Critical Vistas on Journalism (University of Missouri, Fall 1990)
  • Alan Hornstein, The Idea of Law in Western Culture (University of Maryland, Spring 1990)
  • Ndiawar Sarr, African Literatues and Institution; Model African Novel (Unviersity of Dakar, Fall 1988 & Spring 1989)
  • Edwin McClellan, Japanese Literature in Translation (Yale University, Summer I 1988)
  • Norman Dello Joio, American Music; 20th Century Music; Creativity (Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer, NYC, Spring 1988)
  • Reginald Taylor, Mathematics (Businessman and Mathematician, Spring 1988)