William Cooper, Dean of College of Arts & Sciences
Baylor Arts & Sciences magazine: Checking In with Former Deans
Published on June 8, 2017
By Julie Carlson and Randy Fiedler
William F. Cooper
Dr. William Cooper might be listed as a retired faculty member, but you would never guess it. He serves on various Baylor committees and has maintained a rigorous teaching schedule.
Each spring, Cooper alternates teaching either East Asian philosophy or Latin American philosophy at Baylor. He also teaches a Biblical Heritage course and a Capstone course for the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, as well as a course on literary and philosophical implications on the practice of medicine for the medical humanities program.
He also shares his experience and expertise with the College of Arts & Sciences as a member of both the Core Curriculum Committee and the Board of Advocates.
“Every 10 years, the university studies the core curriculum and looks at changes that should be made,” Cooper said. “This dovetails nicely with the Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates, which is a sounding board with alumni. We ask for their perspective on what students should know when they graduate. The world has changed so much, especially in terms of technology and a global dimension, and our courses need to reflect that.”
Cooper indulges his love of learning when he and his wife, Thelma, who taught in Baylor’s School of Music, spend nine weeks each summer in New York at Chautauqua. It’s a community experience that offers artistic and educational opportunities to participants.
“We leave Waco in early June and stay until September. It is just delightful. They have a pottery studio and I work with clay, making bowls and plates. I also have taken up woodworking and took a workshop on chair making. I have made eight chairs,” Cooper said. “When we are in Waco, we also take time to attend the various lectures and concerts that Baylor offers. All these ongoing activities greatly enhance the quality of life.”