I N S I D E T H I S I S SU E
for Faculty Awards
for Excellence in
Mentorship in Re-
search and Creative
Updates from the
Museum of American
Safe Zone Lunch and
Learn Series by the
N O V E M B E R 2 1 , 2 0 1 6 V O L U M E 5 , I S S U E 2
S P EC I A L D A T ES O F
I N T ER ES T :
November 28: Wake
Session (faculty and staff) |
Pugh Auditorium |
December 9: Campus
Connections | Benson 401 |
January 9: Classes begin in
the School of Law, Graduate
School of Arts and Sciences,
and School of Business (CEV,
MSA, MA, MSBA)
January 10: Classes begin in
the School of Divinity, College,
and School of Business (UG,
February 16: Founders’ Day
Convocation | Wait Chapel |
Message from the Provost...
In our last provost’s-office newsletter I wrote about our graduate/professional and undergraduate stu-
dents, members nearly all of the so-called millennial generation. Among the verites of that group is
that, compared especially to the Baby Boomers of the late 1960s/early ‘70s and also to Generation X’ers
of the late 1980s/90s (anti-globalization protests in Seattle, e.g.), they are less inclined to political/social
activism. Civic volunteers, yes, but on average tending to cleave to society’s rules and norms: this gener-
ation—literally and figuratively—colors inside the lines.
In contemporary American society and on campuses most of all, that description feels less and less apt.
From the ‘Occupy’ actions of a couple years back through Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ and other affinity-
group movements, environmental actions targeting global warming and GMOs, and organized libertari-
an activity at some colleges/universities, the cohort of college-aged millennials is taking their place
among previous activist generations.
Wake Forest has experienced rising social and political advocacy as well. From local issues like campus
policing to national concerns like treatment of refugees (a shout-out to WFU undergraduate Rose O’Bri-
en, who organized a magnificent Wake Refugee Day last weekend), our students have organized, rallied,
and otherwise exercised voice. Faculty and staff continue to engage with various gatherings of stu-
dents, along three main dimensions.
First, an ongoing dialogue—described in my Dec. 2014 newsletter—around topics specific and general
continues, in both informal and organized (Deliberative Dialogues, retreats, forums) ways. Second,
those conversations have given rise to a set of concrete actions designed to enhance all Wake Foresters’
sense of inclusion on campus. Those actions continue to be chronicled on our ‘Community in Progress’
website. And third, at an academic institution it has been a priority to boost students’ sense of informed
efficacy and social transformation through education. Want to make your community (and town/city,
nation, and globe) a better place? Ample research-based analysis suggests how to do so, and across
classes, workshops, trainings, and teach-ins, those skills/perspectives/tools are communicated. Not
without skepticism, of course: today’s students may be more inclined than the ‘60s Boomers to trust
those over 30, but plenty of concerns about co-optation or misguided or exclusionary teachings are
voiced along the way. Those are integral to the learning process as well; as one who has studied and
taught civic engagement/activism across my academic career, I can affirm that I learn from students and
colleagues, individually or in groups, as well.
This semester has seen spirited engagement among some faculty members as well, organized around
the Koch Foundation’s donation to our recently-established Eudaimonia Institute. I and other senior
leaders involved in that decision have welcomed a lively discussion, which has culminated in a proposed
Faculty Senate committee to review faculty governance in university institutes’ creation and renewal.
Across Wake Forest, then, dedicated groupings of students, faculty, and staff continue a long tradition
of engaged involvement. Nothing is more essential to the vital renewal of our mission and values.