Mark W. Roche
Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Professor of German Language and Literature
In 2008, Mark Roche stepped down as the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, returning to his roots as a teacher and scholar. During his 11 years as dean, the University’s largest college underwent significant improvements, including a nearly 10-fold increase in external research grants. Also under his tenure, Arts and Letters faculty were awarded 37 fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, more than any other university faculty in the nation.
Today, Roche is a professor of German language and literature and concurrent professor of philosophy. He also teaches the two-semester Humanities Seminar, which takes students in the Fall from Homer to Dante and in the Spring from Machiavelli to Woody Allen, and the popular College Seminar on Faith, Doubt, and Reason. In 2013 Roche received the Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and in 2006 the Kaneb Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Roche is the author of seven books. His two most recent are Why Choose the Liberal Arts? (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010), which received the 2012 Frederic W. Ness Book Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and Why Literature Matters in the 21st Century (Yale University Press, 2004), which was chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine.
Father Ned Joyce, after whom this professorship is named, oversaw University finances as Notre Dame’s executive vice president from 1952 to 1987. For many years, Father Joyce was an influential voice in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, particularly on matters dealing with the educational integrity of intercollegiate athletics programs.