Tower glows for Dean Woodruff

Woodruff, Paul 2012, dean of Undergraduate Studies and professor of philosophy

Tonight, we’re lighting the Tower orange for my good friend and colleague, Paul Woodruff.

One of the key accomplishments of my presidency has been appointing Paul as our first dean of undergraduate studies. With him in that role, we proceeded to create the School of Undergraduate Studies as a home for underclassmen still searching for a major. The school also administers our Signature Courses and performs many other functions. Paul and his staff have built the school into a critical component of the University. Today Paul steps down as dean to resume full-time teaching.

Many of you will know him as the longtime director of UT’s prestigious Plan II Honors Program. Others will know him as the author of many thoughtful books on philosophy.

To honor Paul, numerous former students, colleagues, and friends have raised $370,000 to endow the Paul B. Woodruff Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Studies. The award will go to a different faculty member each year who is dedicated to improving a particular area of the core curriculum, to developing or expanding interdisciplinary academic programs, to designing new Signature Courses, or to mentoring Signature Course faculty. It’s a fitting tribute.

Thank you, Paul, for your special service as inaugural dean of this school and for your continued contributions to the intellectual life of our students.

Job well done!


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  1. David Temple says:

    President Powers,
    Thank you for providing a wonderful salute to such an outstanding individual as Dr. Woodruff. He touched our family when my son was admitted to the Plan II Honors Program and again when Brad went to work for him in the School of Undergraduate Studies. He is a wonderful teacher, leader and manager.
    We still remember the time he took to visit with the incoming Plan II frshmen and their parents just before school started. Thanks again. I know he humbly appreciates it.

  2. I have always admired Paul as a scholar and deep thinker. His writings are cogent and eloquent, often engaging a wider audience beyond academe. Perhaps my favorite is: Reverence; Renewing a Forgotten Virtue Oxford University Press (2001). Paul is a UT treasure!