Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Dalhousie University. Faculty of Arts and Science (1906-1988)
- Dalhousie College and University. Faculty of Arts (1863-1905)
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was established on 1 July 1988, composed of humanities and social science departments within the former Faculty of Arts and Science. The restructuring of the Faculty began in 1986 with the establishment of a committee to consider its future direction. The Smith Report, drafted in 1987 by Rowland Smith, McCulloch Professor of English and Acting Dean of Arts and Science, recommended the division of the Faculty, which was followed by a faculty-wide referendum resulting in marginal favour of the decision.
The earliest university calendar lists only a Faculty of Arts. However, to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, students were first required to pass matriculation examinations in classics, mathematics and English, while subsequent classes included rhetoric, logic and psychology, natural philosophy (experimental physics), modern languages, metaphysics, chemistry, ethics, political economy, and history. MA degrees were granted on completion of a thesis on a literary, scientific or professional subject.
In 1878 a Department of Science was established in connection with the Faculty of Arts, and in 1880 the university calendar lists a Faculty of Science. By 1906, the university calendars refer to a single Faculty of Arts and Science, a title which lasted until the administrative division in 1988.
Functions, occupations and activities
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences administers and delivers arts, humanities and social science education in over 35 academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Office facilitates research in humanities, social sciences and performing arts at Dalhousie University in four strategic research areas: Critical Health and Technology; Culture and Identity; Ethics and Social Justice; and Governance, Security and Global Affairs. It works to raise the institutional and external profile of research through lectures series, exhibitions and displays, and publications.
Mandates/sources of authority
The basic statute relating to Dalhousie University is Chapter 24 of the Acts of 1863. This statute replaced earlier statutes, and the 1863 statute itself has been amended and supplemented several times over the years. The provisions of these various statutes provide for the establishment and regulation of the university, the membership of the Board of Governors and its rights and powers, the authority of senate for the internal regulation of the university (subject to the approval of the board), and various other matters.
In 2020 the website for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences had as its stated mission:
“The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is dedicated to delivering the highest quality arts, humanities and social science education in Canada consistent with our standing among the top 15 universities in the country. Our faculty members are committed to providing students with a positive, respectful and rewarding learning experience that encourages broad understanding of different communities, societies, cultures, literatures, languages and ways of knowing. Our goal is to encourage students to develop strong critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem solving and communication skills and creative talents that will foster their development as knowledgeable, engaged and confident citizens and leaders.”
In 2020 the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is composed of 11 academic departments, the Fountain School of Performing Arts, two programs and five research centres.
The Dean of Arts and Social Sciences is directly responsible to the university’s provost & vice-president, academic, and is responsible for the recruitment and promotion of faculty. The dean is supported by an associate dean, academic and an associate dean, research, as well as an assistant dean, student matters and an assistant dean, academic integrity, in addition to other administrative officers and managers.