Volume 18 • Issue 2

On Campus: Campus News

Mellon Foundation Grant to Fund Faculty Exchange Programs

Southwestern has received a $150,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to develop faculty exchange programs with four other universities, three of which are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Other universities involved with the project will be Dillard University in New Orleans, Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Morehouse College in Atlanta and Rhodes College in Memphis.

The five universities already participate in a three-year collaborative leadership and student exchange project funded by a $100,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation. The new grant will help extend the benefits of the student exchange program to faculty members.

“Bringing together scholars from historically black colleges and universities such as Dillard, Huston-Tillotson and Morehouse and from predominately white institutions such as Southwestern and Rhodes will bring greater richness to the academic experience on the participating campuses,” says Provost Jim Hunt.

One goal of the program will be to facilitate collaborative research projects between faculty members who share common interests. For example, four of the participating institutions are located in or near cities that have rich musical cultures worthy of scholarly exploration (Austin, New Orleans and Memphis). The project also will sponsor faculty exchanges during the summer months or visiting scholar programs during the academic year.

As a first step in the project, a database will be compiled that includes the specialties and research interests of faculty members at the participating institutions. A Web site will help faculty members at participating schools find potential collaborators for their research interests.

A steering committee composed of representatives from participating institutions will review proposals for collaborative projects and decide which ones to fund. Proposals will be accepted beginning in September. “The idea of getting people from the same field together to work on projects would be an incredible boost as far as my professional growth is concerned,” says Martín Gonzalez, an assistant professor of biology at Southwestern.

Hunt also noted that partnerships resulting from the project could lead to funding from other agencies, such as the National Science Foundation.

Southwestern, Dillard Sign Partnership Agreement

Southwestern’s efforts to create formal alliances with historically black colleges and universities also received a boost in November as the University signed a formal partnership agreement with Dillard University. The agreement will enable the two universities to pursue collaborative initiatives in several areas, including institutional management, diversity education and other academic efforts.

The agreement formalizes a partnership that has already been in place for several years. In December 2005, Southwestern sponsored a program to help faculty members from Dillard recreate course materials lost in Hurricane Katrina and develop new online courses that could be offered to students regardless of their location.

“Southwestern is pleased to be able to work with Dillard University to formalize a partnership agreement that has been flourishing during the last two years,” says President Jake B. Schrum. “It will encourage both institutions to cooperate on programs that enrich the educational experience of our faculties and our students.”

This is the second partnership agreement Southwestern has signed with an historically black college or university (HBCU). In April 2001, it signed a similar agreement with Huston-Tillotson University. As a result of this agreement, several staff members at Southwestern have shared management/administrative expertise with Huston-Tillotson colleagues.

Brown Symposium Focuses on Our Relationship with Animals

This year’s Brown Symposium focused on our relationship with animals.

Our relationship with animals was the topic of the 29th annual Brown Symposium, held on campus March 5-6.

The symposium, titled “Who Do We Think We Are?!,” was organized by Laura Hobgood-Oster, chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department and holder of the Elizabeth Root Paden Chair. Speakers included Marc Bekoff, a professor of biology at the University of Colorado–Boulder and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; Poet Naomi Shihab Nye; Ines Talamantez, a professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Paul Waldau, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Conference participants explored our relationship with animals from a variety of perspectives, including the scientific, legal, ethical and religious.

“I hope this symposium will remind us that, while we are different from other animal species, that does not mean that humans have the right to destroy them or to use them in inhumane ways,” Hobgood-Oster says. “Rather, we need to learn how we can live with them and learn from them.”

Carnegie Foundation Recognizes Southwestern for its Commitment to Community Engagement

Southwestern University was one of 76 colleges and universities across the country recognized by the Carnegie Foundation in December for commitment to community engagement. The Carnegie Foundation’s system for classifying institutions of higher education is widely respected and has provided the basis by which colleges and universities are compared for rankings such as those done by U.S. News & World Report.

Until now, the Carnegie Foundation had strictly classified institutions of higher education according to characteristics such as the type of degrees offered, size and setting, and the profile of students enrolled. The Carnegie Foundation, for example, classifies Southwestern as a small, four-year, selective residential college. In early 2006, the foundation announced that it would create a new elective classification to recognize institutions that collaborate with their larger communities—local, state/regional, national or global. Colleges and universities were invited to apply for the new classification and to provide evidence of their community engagement. Within the new category, schools could be recognized for curricular engagement, outreach and partnerships, or both. Southwestern was recognized for both.

“This classification by the Carnegie Foundation affirms the priority of community engagement at Southwestern,” says President Jake B. Schrum. “We are honored to be the only private university in Texas to qualify for this classification and one of only 28 private universities nationally to be selected by this very prestigious foundation. This recognition also confirms the perception that Southwestern is a university that engages minds and transforms lives.”

Southwestern was one of only three colleges and universities in Texas to meet the qualifications for the new category. Last year, more than 60 percent of Southwestern students reported doing volunteer work in the community—more than twice the national average. These students contributed an estimated 22,500 hours of service to the community.

For more information on the Carnegie Classifications, visit www.carnegiefoundation.org.

Georgetown Festival of the Arts

Southwestern faculty and alumni are contributing to Georgetown’s third annual Festival of the Arts, May 31-June 3. The Festival is unique among summer cultural events in its combination of a weekend’s juried fine arts and crafts show with four days of classical music and symposia. This year’s featured composer is Franz Schubert.

Ellsworth Peterson ’55, professor emeritus of music, serves as artistic director for the music component of the Festival. Emeriti professors Bob Horick and Florence Gould serve on the Festival planning committee, and Farley Snell will give a pre-concert talk on the Viennese Mass. Two alumnae, soprano Virginia Hyde Dupuy ’71 and Schubert scholar Susan Youens ’69, will also appear on the program.

Current southwestern faculty performing in concerts held throughout the Festival are conductor Kenneth Sheppard, cellist Hai Zheng playing with the Shanghai Quartet, pianist Kiyoshi Tamagawa, clarinetist Anna Carney and baritone Bruce Cain.

For tickets and a complete schedule of activities visit www.georgetowntexassymphony.org or call the Georgetown Symphony Society.