How will the University of California define itself in the 21st century? What should every UC graduate know in order to be an informed citizen? Is online teaching an answer to UC’s budgetary woes? These are among the questions to be explored when the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) at UC Santa Barbara hosts a series of Faculty Forums on the UC Commission on the Future.
Continuing last year’s “Future of the University” program, which examined the state’s budget crisis and the challenges facing UC, the IHC will initiate a series of faculty forums to study the recommendations made by the working groups of the UC Commission on the Future. UC President Mark G. Yudof and Board of Regents Chairman Russell Gould formed the commission in response to declining state support for higher education. “The working groups presented their recommendations to the full commission in June, yet despite their importance, they have received little analysis,” said IHC acting director Ann Bermingham.
All forums are free and open to the public, and will take place in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building.
The first Faculty Forum, which will begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 28, will examine the kind of knowledge students should acquire at the lower division and introductory levels of higher education in order to become informed and responsible graduates of UCSB. To facilitate discussion, participants in this roundtable will post their position statements on the IHC Web site in advance of the event, along with relevant suggested readings.
Among the participants, noted Bermingham, are representatives from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. “Scholars who have given a great deal of thought to the subject of lower-division, introductory coursework will be discussing its importance in the education of UCSB undergraduates,” she said.
During winter quarter, the series will examine the role of online education in the undergraduate curriculum, and the commission’s seeming endorsement of the systemwide use of this form of teaching.
Several distinguished scholars known for their analysis of higher education will participate in the Faculty Forums, including Stanley Katz of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Katz is also president emeritus of the American Council of Learned Society. He will join the November 8 forum to discuss the impact of the funding crisis on graduate and undergraduate education.
More information about the Faculty Forums is available online.