A basic knowledge of and appreciation for chemistry is vital in today’s highly technical society. Humans, planet earth and the rest of the Universe are chemical entities. To ignore properties and structure at the chemical level would be to lose a very important perspective on the nature of humans and their relationship to the world around them as well as to the rest of the universe. To arrive at conclusions concerning the nature and meaning of life without this perspective would be as misleading as arriving at these conclusions without the perspectives of philosophy, biology, religion, world civilization, government, sociology, psychology, the arts and other facets of the liberal arts curriculum.
In the chemistry department, we provide basic information to non-majors and more extensive information to majors that allow them to better assess the roles of the individual and humanity within their environment. Our approach includes descriptions of structure and organization, laws and relationships and practical implications of both. By its nature, the third objective of the mission statement requires the bulk of our attention and effort. It is a primary responsibility to provide a solid academic background in chemistry, so that our students can function productively in their field. Employability is a practical concern that we address through our course offerings and content. We are currently strengthening our ability to provide relevant up-to-date training in chemistry, so that our students can compete favorably in a tight job market. A large part of our effort to provide skills and tools for the future has required considerable updating of our instrumental capabilities. Without these improvements, students would be at a disadvantage when they enter the “real world” of instrumental and computerized analysis. We have come a long way toward meeting our goals and we will continue to improve our capabilities.
Chemistry major graduates have been very successful in the past, with the vast majority either obtaining direct employment in industry, education or entering graduate school for chemistry, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy.