People - David Gross
The bare-boned facts
- Interim Dean, The Honors College at the University of Maine
Professor Emeritus of English, University of Oklahoma
- Thomson Honors Center
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469-5716
- Phone: 207.581.3262
- Honors Office: 207.581.3263
- Fax: 207.581.3265
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A.B. Wesleyan University 1965 (with honors) in French
- M.A. 1968 and Ph.D. 1973 University of Iowa in Comparative Literature
Areas of Interest
19th and 20th century European Literature, Modern British and American Literature, Literary and Cultural Theory, the political and social context of literature and culture; William Blake, Anton Chekhov, Gustave Flaubert (dissertation subject), Bob Dylan
And in a former life…
For thirty-two years I was a professor of English at the University of Oklahoma (OU). While at OU I was for several years an administrator in what was then the Honors Program. I taught many, many honors courses. I always thought of myself primarily as a teacher. Over my thirty plus years I won more major teaching awards than any other university faculty member.
The whole time I was at OU I wanted to be in Maine. I grew up in Orono. Both of my parents, Stuart and Mary Louise Gross, were professors in the UMaine Modern Languages Department. In 1994 I took early retirement and returned to Maine. From 2005 until spring 2012 I was a preceptor in Honors 211-212, the modern half of the Civilizations sequence of courses that all UMaine Honors students take.
As Interim Dean of the Honors College I will make every effort to continue the work of Charlie Slavin, the long-time Dean of our college whose sudden death resulted in my being thrust into this role. Under Charlie’s leadership the UMaine Honors College has been a model of commitment to liberal education and a leader in providing an honors education of exceptional quality to hundreds of students. I am confident that we can continue on this path.
My commitment to liberal education could hardly be stronger. While I recognize the importance of the pre-professional aspects of higher education, and am confident that in the Honors College we strengthen significantly those aspects of our students’ preparation, my central concern is with the intrinsic value of the education we provide. In our four semester Civilizations sequence our students engage serious texts and issues having to do with the most important meanings and values in human life. I care most that we aid our students in living what Socrates would call “the examined life.” That sort of engagement prepares students for life, whatever their professional paths. And such thinking and questioning of meanings and values lays the foundation as well for civic engagement as citizens in a democracy.