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Ross M. Lence Master Teacher Residency

2013 Ross M. Lence Master Teacher: William B. Allen

WB AllenWilliam B. Allen is Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy in the Department of Political Science and Emeritus Dean, James Madison College, at Michigan State University. He served previously on the United States National Council for the Humanities and as Chairman and Member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Currently he serves as Visiting Senior Professor in the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good at Villanova University, and as Visiting Professor, Ashland University, Ashbrook Center, Master’s in History and American Government.

He has published extensively. In 2009 appeared Re-Thinking Uncle Tom: The Political Philosophy of H. B. Stowe (Lexington Books). In 2008 appeared George Washington: America’s First Progressive (Peter Lang, Inc.), and The Personal and the Political: Three Fables by Montesquieu (UPA). Earlier he published Habits of Mind: Fostering Excellence and Access in Higher Education, with Carol M. Allen (Transaction Publishers, Inc., 2003); George Washington: A Collection, editor and Introduction (Liberty Press, 3d printing,); The Essential Antifederalist: Second Edition, with Gordon Lloyd (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002); and The Federalist Papers: A Commentary: The “Baton Rouge Lectures.” (Peter Lang, Inc., 2000).

Join us for the 2013 Lence Residency events on January 30 through Febuary 1.

  • Wednesday, January 30 (6:00 pm) - Join us for a public lecture in the Honors College Commons: “Reading the Declaration of Independence” RSVP
  • Thursday, January 31 (5:30 pm) - Lence Seminar public lecture: “Liberty and Tyranny: Montesquieu’s Reconsideration” RSVP
  • Friday, February 1 (noon) -Dr. Allen presents a public lecture in Cemo Hall 100D on “Political Arithmetic: Social Science, Scientific Revolution, and Political Innovation.” RSVP
  • Friday, February 1 (6:00 pm) -The Honors College presents the Lence Master Teacher Dinner, where Dr. Allen will lecture on “What Country Have I? Harriet Stowe’s Response to Frederick Douglass.”

Ross LenceRoss M. Lence

I attempt to lead my students on a journey of the mind. Some days are good; some days are not so good. But every day I remind myself that teaching is like missionary work, and that I am the messenger, not the message. I constantly strive to bring others to see the excitement, as well as the limits, offered by the life of the mind. I encourage all students to be bold in their thoughts, moderate in their actions, and courageous in their pursuit of truth—wherever it is and however it can be known.

Dr. Lence’s career was marked by his commitment to the transformative effect of undergraduate education. He brought with him each and every day a profound energy and intense interest in books and young people. His mode of interaction was conversational, his style provocative, and his dedication to students relentless. He evoked from them an eagerness to work at their highest level, and he challenged colleagues to put aside old habits and conventional ways of looking at things.  

Each academic year, The Lence Master Teacher Residency Program invites a “master teacher” to the Honors College at the University of Houston to engage with students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the Honors College. This conference-like engagement spans the course of a week and features lectures for Honors College courses; workshops with faculty, students, and alumni on key texts in the Western intellectual tradition; informal small group discussions; lunches, receptions, and other social engagements. In particular, the Residency will provide a venue for an annual reunion of dedicated students and friends of Professor Ross Lence.

Reminiscent of the “writer-in-residence” model, the Lence Master Teacher Residency program invites a scholar to the University and the City to share the intellectual and personal characteristics of Professor Ross M. Lence, the man in whose memory this series is created.  

To make a contribution to the Honors College or for additional information, contact Peter Hyland in the Honors College at 713.743.3220 or

RSVP for 2013 Public Lectures

Note: To RSVP for the Lence Master Teacher Dinner, please complete the RSVP card and return to Peter Hyland 212 MD Anderson Library, Houston, TX 77204-2001 or contact him directly at or 713.743.3220