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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Improvements in graduate education support

Chairs, administrators, and directors of graduate studies recently heard from Steve Manson, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs, about initiatives in that office to provide more efficiency, flexibility, and funding for departments in graduate education. An example of efficiency would be eliminating certain reporting requirements. An example of flexibility is moving away from the application and competition-based CLA Graduate Fellowship system toward one where departments are given funds to manage and allowing these funds to be carried forward when not spent. As for increased funding, that will show up in more funding for summer fellowships, some additional fellowship dollars overall, collegiate absorption of the departmental portion of ICGC fellowships, and more. CLA is also investing in career support for graduate students, whether they seek an academic or non-academic path.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

CLA Roadmap overview and progress

For those of you new to CLA (and for anyone wanting a refresher), check out the CLA Roadmap page to learn about the Roadmap and review our latest Progress Report. Check out the links on the left-hand side of the page to dig a little further into our efforts around research and creative excellence, career readiness, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement. You might also want to visit this page to see our departments, centers, programs, and initiatives.

Ad hoc committee to review revisions to sabbaticals

As I’ve reported previously, the University has been in the process of working with governance groups to develop a new sabbatical system which would provide 1 semester of sabbatical at 100% of salary or 2 semesters at 50% of salary. The policy being currently considered by the Senate is here.

On belonging and mutual respect

Recent weeks have brought news about hate-inspired violence from around the country. The work of the liberal arts -- our research and creative work, instruction, engagement -- is always vital, but perhaps never so directly and meaningfully as when we grapple with and process these terrible events. Insights, perspectives, and analysis from our college help both to understand the present as well as envision paths toward a better future where mutual dignity and respect thrive. All of you can be rightly proud that you contribute to that knowledge creation.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The First Amendment, debate, and campus climate

(Remarks delivered November 5, 2018, at the Minnesota Daily First Amendment Celebration.)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Thank you to the Minnesota Daily for inviting me. It’s a great pleasure to join you today to discuss this critical topic.

The very foundations of college life are built on the principles laid out in the First Amendment. Whether you’re talking about the right to assemble or the right of a student-run newspaper to question the institution without penalty, the First Amendment is of vital importance to a college campus. Issues around freedom of speech, academic freedom, and the First Amendment are ones that I am passionate about.

Today I want to focus specifically on how the First Amendment affects two things: debate on campus and campus climate.