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Although he has retired as professor emeritus of English, Dr. Norman J. Betz considers himself a generalist in humanities, having taught 25 to 30 courses in four departments at Central.
Dr. Betz joined the university in 1972 after a couple years of teaching high school kids in Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio. The Tarheel basketball fan earned his doctorate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, master’s degree at the University of Detroit, and bachelor’s degree at Loyola University in Chicago.
His diverse career as a Central educator included teaching the Methods course, supervising student teachers, and coordinating the English Education program. He also taught courses such as the History of Philosophy, both ancient and modern; Women’s Studies; Comparative World Religions; courses linking literature and the psychology of Carl Jung; and courses about Vietnam, Fiction and Film.
Dr. Betz understands the value of critical thinking, and he took great lengths to help his students improve their critical thinking skills. He served as editor of a critical thinking newsletter, and made presentations and participated in critical thinking conferences.
Beyond the classroom, Dr. Betz was involved in committee work, ranging from re-fashioning the General Studies program to various committees on assessment. He was also a member of the Teaching Excellence Development Program to train graduate assistants.
Residing in Warrensburg with his wife, Renee, Fr. Betz said he is looking forward to the freedom retirement brings.