Who am I and why am I here? Not the existential question, but the simpler one–what is the blog about, and why am I writing it?
That’s me, Steve Varvis, Ph.D., Professor of History at Fresno Pacific Univeristy. (Behind me on my left is a print of Raphael’s “School of Athens,” and a brass rubbing of a medieval saint’s life, Saint Nicholas–that may tell you something about me.) I have played a number of roles here–business manager way back when, fundraiser, Dean of what was once the undergraduate college, VP for Enrollment Management, and most recently Provost and Sr. Vice President. Now I am back to my first love in education, teaching and scholarship.
I’ve been teaching at FPU for 30+ years–world civilization, medieval and renaissance history and literature, reformation history and theology, history of political theory, and business ethics. To those who have had my classes (to those who have had to take my courses, I apologize) I can only say that I look forward to hearing from you again.
To others–friends, students, potential students, parents of students, colleagues–welcome to what I hope will be a good conversation about higher education…what it is, what it does, how we can think about it, how to plan for it, and make it happen, what to look for in it, what to avoid, what’s happening generally across the country, how to choose a college, finance it, why you might want to, how to make sense of Christian higher education, and who knows what else. I will also throw in some of my thoughts on my own studies, why I think a liberal education is important and how to pursue a rounded and deep education, and how students can pursue learning for its own sake and prepare for a profession.
On my best days, I love everything about higher education, and especially Christian Higher Education, from the work with students to balancing the budget to planning for a program or facility to debating with my faculty colleagues to speaking with and listening to those who support and join in our efforts. On other days, well, we all have other days. But thinking through what we are doing and why makes those best days all that more frequent.
Your’s towards the goal of “faithfulness, wisdom” and “service” (our motto).