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Partner Spotlight: NERCHE’s Spring 2014 Virtual Think Tanks


Spring 2014 Community Engagement Virtual Think Tank Series

This was my first NERCHE webinar and it was a great experience. It was very well planned and executed, with helpful follow-up….I look forward to participating in more NERCHE webinars and sharing with my colleagues.”— Virtual Think Tank Participant

NERCHE’s Virtual Think Tanks are webinars designed for higher education practitioners engaged in collaborative change processes which address social justice in a diverse democracy. Participants have utilized Virtual Think Tanks for faculty and staff training, initiative development, and deepening reflection and discussion on their respective campuses.   Virtual Think Tanks are valuable whether participants are developing long-term strategic change efforts or thinking about immediate programming and teaching issues.

The Center’s spring 2014 Virtual Think Tanks will focus on community engagement in teaching and learning, research, and institutional structures within higher education. 

Spring 2014 Virtual Think Tank Session Descriptions
4/2/14 The New Faculty Majority and Civic Engagement
The majority of all college faculty now work on part-time or full-time temporary contracts, and many lack sufficient access to the institutional support that is necessary for quality education. In many fields, the majority of adjuncts are no longer simply traditional “second career” or “teaching professionals” but rather trained academics who are encountering a starkly downsized tenure-track job market.This virtual think tank will explore how campuses can advance student civic learning and democratic engagement when a faculty majority lacks a full voice in campus governance and is treated as second class institutional citizens; how campuses sustain long-term relationships with formal obligations in community partnerships while not providing the institutional support for a majority of faculty; how faculty can pursue community engaged teaching and learning on public issues without the protections of academic freedom. How can campuses advance civic engagement without advancing the professional working conditions of faculty who do not have the rights and protections of tenure?
Maria Maisto (New Faculty Majority)
Register Here
4/23/14 The Politics of Community Engagement: Engaging Values Beyond Partisan Posturing
There is a contradiction at the heart of the higher education civic engagement discourse–that we may be objective and neutral while we engage in an act as overtly political as building democratic citizens. This webinar will briefly review the theoretical bases of democracy and its requirements while illuminating the ways in which those requirements express political actions and values choices. The webinar discussion will then turn to applied approaches to rigorously engaging values discourse in the classroom without falling into partisan bickering or ideological straightjackets.
Eric Hartman (Providence College)
Register Here
5/7/14 Becoming Stewards of Place: Strategies for Institution-Community Engagement
At a time when traditional institutions feel besieged by a rapidly changing landscape, defining themselves as “stewards of place” offers new possibilities. Collaborating with communities and thinking of the border between campus and community as a permeable boundary provide new insights and opportunities for teaching, research, and service. This webinar will focus on AASCU’s two 2014 monographs in the Stewards of Place series, both of which demonstrate that stewardship of place can make institutions stronger and more relevant in the 21st century.
George Mehaffy (AASCU)
Register Here

Registration and Cost:

The registration fee for participation in each real-time Virtual Think Tank session is $195.  For more information on payment methods, please see our Virtual Think Tank FAQs.


NERCHE also offers recordings of  its spring 2014 Virtual Think Tanks for $100. Recordings will be made available on the NERCHE website to registrants one week after the real-time sessions. Purchase a recording here.
For an archive of NERCHE’s past Virtual Think Tanks available for purchase, click here.

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