Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lecture series to spur campus conversation about activism

In this presidential campaign year, public discourse is focused on the economy in a unique way, and new social movements have taken shape across the political spectrum. Questions of access and fairness remain central to these discussions.

Throughout this month the university will offer several opportunities for the campus community to engage in conversations about these issues.

On Friday, The university's two top budget officers — Provost Phil Hanlon and Vice Provost Martha Pollack — will give a presentation about U-M's budget priorities and what goes into funding them. Then, on Tuesday, the next lecture in the series will present reflections on activism by four LSA faculty members.

The lecture series, "Equity, Justice and Social Change: The Michigan Tradition of Activism and Educational Opportunity," will provide information about Michigan's longstanding tradition of activism and social justice, and create opportunities to learn about and reflect upon current social issues.

"This lecture series was designed to provide the campus community with an opportunity to discuss Michigan's rich history of social activism, while grappling with current economic challenges and illuminating how institutions of higher education can garner collective wisdom and action in the generation of solutions to the problems confronting our society," says series coordinator Laura Blake Jones, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

The next lecture, "Growing Up Activist," will be Tuesday in the Annenberg Auditorium of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, 1120 Weill Hall, at 7:30 p.m. LSA faculty members Maria Cotera, Matthew Countryman, Kristin Hass and Phil Deloria will reflect on the relation between upbringings in activist households, their own commitments to social justice, and the role of the university in advancing the social good.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to share this information with students.

Other presentations in the series include:

• March 16, "History of U-M Activism," featuring James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus and professor of science and engineering; 5 p.m., Annenberg Auditorium, Room 1120 Weill Hall, Ford School.

• March 19, "Michigan's Controversial Emergency Manager Law: A panel discussion on fundamental issues of governance"; 4 p.m., Annenberg Auditorium, Room 1120 Weill Hall, Ford School. (Seating is limited; ticket required)

• March 22, "Financing the University of Michigan," featuring Provost Phil Hanlon; 5:15 p.m., Michigan League, Kalamazoo Room. (This is a repeat of his presentation at 5:15 p.m. Friday in Room 1670 of the Computer Science & Engineering Building, 2260 Hayward St., on North Campus.)

• March 27, "American Inequality: A University of Michigan conversation on the growing income and education gaps in America," panel moderated by Paul N. Courant, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries; 7 p.m., Michigan League, Vandenberg Room

• March 29, "The Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives 25th Anniversary Symposium: Conversations on Serving Underrepresented Students: Best Practices, Challenges, Successes and the Future"; 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Great Lakes Room, Palmer Commons.