[The following was written by Nancy Daukas]
The UNC Board has recommended to the state legislature that three progressive centers in the state system be closed (a vote is pending): UNCCH center for the study of poverty, ECU Center for Biodiversity, NC Central Institute for Civic engagement and social change.
The time is right for us to let people in NC know that Guilford is the in-state place to send their kids if they are concerned about issues of social justice, civic engagement, environmental responsibility, peace and cross-cultural understanding. This isn’t just about marketing; it’s about programming:
ROUGH DRAFT Suggestion for possible discussion: Expand and restructure IDS. IDS includes four centers:
1. ‘Center for Studies of diversity and social justice’. One or two shared core courses, but separate majors (e.g., WGSS, Comm. Justice). Create a ‘Race and Ethnicity studies’ program with an AfAm major within it but also room for others. Allow students to propose independent majors in related areas while developing them as offered programs, such as: Native American Studies, Immigration studies, Disability studies, Hispanic-American st.
Multicultural Ed would belong under this umbrella and would be central to programming
2. Center for Science, Technology, and Society studies: Env St would live here, so would an ethically-rich Biotech and public health – major, maybe an STS major or minor …
3. Center for Peace and International Studies…. or Peace & Global cultures….? This could house IS, PECS, Study Abroad, FL ??
4. Center for Civic Engagement (previously PPS): umbrella for Bonner, QLSP, and a central organizational center for internships & experiential learning connected to the IDS curricula.
NOTE: We’d still have our traditional majors & departments, but some might opt to become IDS majors in those centers instead of traditional disciplinary majors. Most traditional disciplinary majors would participate in at least one center, some in all.
Establish joint appointments to make the IDS programs secure. Lay out very clear contract-based FTE allotments to ensure that no one is doing more than one FTE even when all IDS engagement is factored in, and that IDS involvement is formally included in all FAC procedures
Every student (eventually) would take a major or minor in one of the centers; all majors & minors include community learning.
Clarification: as some have noticed, there is thematic overlap among the three centers. Precisely: all the boundaries are somewhat fizzy, but needed administratively. Thematically, think of the centers more as ‘centers of gravity’ than as neat boxes.
This would make very visible our progressive leanings while creating opportunities for innovative development through tighter collaboration. Tighter collaboration would enhance cost efficiency
The centers would do ‘centralized’ programming involving intentional planning to avoid competing events, better use of funds, fewer events overall but all well-attended.
Each center would have a steering committee made up of participating program coordinators. The steering committee would have a faculty coordinator and staff coordinator to strengthen co-curricular development.
These would not be new positions, they would involve some re-organizing of already existing positions. (Ideally: each center also has an admin asst. once financially possible.)