Willam B. Allen Serving As 2013 Lence Master Teacher at UH

Professor of Political Philosophy Allen Delivering Lectures Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 at UH

William B. Allen, 2013 Lence Master Teacher

Only the best of the best are selected for the University of Houston’s Ross M. Lence Master Teacher (LMT) Residency. Each year, the Honors College invites one of the nation’s renowned teachers to campus to deliver insightful lectures and lead discussions with UH faculty, students and the community.

This year’s Lence Master Teacher is William B. Allen, emeritus professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University (MSU). He also is emeritus dean of the James Madison Honors College at MSU.  Allen will visit UH Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 to present the following lectures.:

  • 6 p.m., Jan. 30: “Reading the Declaration of Independence” – Honors College Commons (second floor of M.D. Anderson Library)
  • 5:30 p.m., Jan. 31: Lence Seminar “Liberty and Tyranny: Montesquieu’s Reconsideration”- Honors College Commons
  • Noon, Feb. 1: “Political Arithmetic: Social Science, Scientific Revolution and Political Innovation” – Cemo Hall, Room 100D
  • 6 p.m., Feb. 1: Lence Master Teacher Dinner -  “What Country Have I? Harriet Stowe’s Response to Frederick Douglas” – Rockwell Pavilion (second floor of M.D. Anderson Library)

All lectures are free and open to the community. Tickets for the Lence Master Teacher Dinner are $50 and guests must RSVP. To reserve a seat for the dinner or for details on the Lence Master Teacher lectures, contact Beth Kungel Borck at 713-743-3220 or visit the LMT website.

Allen currently is a visiting senior professor at the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and Public Good at Villanova University. He also is a visiting professor at Ashland University. His published works include “Re-Thinking Uncle Tom: The Political Philosophy of H.B. Stowe,” “George Washington: America’s First Progressive,” and “The Personal and the Political: Three Fables by Montesquieu.” Allen previously served on the U.S. National Council for the Humanities and as a member of the U.S. Council on Civil Rights.

"Bill (Allen) was a friend of Ross and he shares many ‘Lencian’ virtues, not the least of which is a healthy skepticism about what passes for wisdom," said William Monroe, dean of the Honors College.

"It’s wonderful that William B. Allen is this year’s Lence Master Teacher for all the reasons one might think, but also because he was friends with Professor Lence for many years,” added Honors College instructor Terry Hallmark, who is helping coordinate the residency. “I’m also excited by his visit to campus because he was one of my teachers after I graduated in 1980 to earn my doctorate at Claremont Graduate School. It’s going to be a real treat to see him here at my alma mater engaging my own students in the Honors College – something I never imagined so many years ago."

The Lence Master Teacher Residency celebrates the legacy of the late UH political science professor Ross M. Lence. Lence inspired both faculty and students at UH from 1971 – 2006. He was a John and Rebecca Moores Scholar and held the Ross M. Lence Distinguished Teaching Chair. For 23 years, he served as the director for undergraduate studies in UH’s Department of Political Science.

"Ross's students and colleagues reunite every year to celebrate his legacy,” Monroe said. “He was a provocateur of the intellect.  He had an irreverent, comic style that naturally appealed to young people and to people young at heart.  We want that kind of spirit to live on and to introduce new generations to the Lence legacy."  

The Honors College at UH is a hub of excellence that serves the needs of gifted undergraduates in more than 100 fields of study and reflects the rich diversity of the University of Houston in its courses, faculty and students. For more than 50 years, the Honors College has offered students the best of both worlds: the advantages of a small college together with the comprehensive resources and rich diversity of a large university. For more information about the Honors College, visit http://TheHonorsCollege.com.