The University Record, October 21, 1998
From the State Outreach Office
U-M instructional and research faculty are invited to hit the road next May as part of a two-year pilot project titled Michigan Road Scholars.
Funded by the Office of the Provost with support from the State Outreach Office of the Office of the Vice President for Government Relations, the five-day traveling seminar will expose participants to the states economy, government and politics, culture, educational systems, health and social issues, history, and geography.
Designed to increase mutual knowledge and understanding between the University and the people and communities of the state, the tour will introduce participants to the places the majority of our students call home, acquaint them with the states rich diversity, suggest ways faculty can help address state issues through research, and convey that the U-M can contribute to the well-being of the state, explains Earl Lewis, dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies who chairs a faculty advisory committee that is planning the tour. In addition, the experience is expected to foster beneficial ties and promote interdisciplinary discussion among the touring faculty.
Lewis says that following the tour, some monies could be made available to help fund any collaborative, interdisciplinary research or service projects that stem from faculty interaction on the tour. Details on this aspect of the project will be announced later.
Thirty faculty will be selected to participate in the tour. All meals, accommodations (private room for each participant) and transportation will be provided. The tour bus will be equipped with restrooms, video monitors, snacks and a small library of materials about the state.
Stops on the May 3-7, 1999, tour will include special presentations by and interaction with a variety of community representatives. Each participant will receive a notebook with pertinent information on state issues, locations to be visited and community people with whom they will meet. Some of the participating faculty may be asked to give informal presentations about their field of expertise while on the tour.
Those interested in participating in the tour should send an e-mail message to Susan Froelich, associate director of state outreach, who is project coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org), or fill out the online application form on the Web at www.umich.edu/~urel/facultytours.html. Application deadline is Nov. 25. For more information, contact Froelich or Lew Morrissey, director of state outreach, 764-9256.
Other universities have offered faculty tours of their state. Schools with Web sites on their projects include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (www.dev.unc.edu/pubrel/bustour/), University of Washington (http://washington.edu/admin/personnel/faculty tour) and University of Kansas (www.ukans.edu/~bustour).