August 18, 2010
Dear Campus Community,
Over the past years, the Western Illinois University theme has brought the campus and area communities together for numerous activities and programs. These events have resulted in discussions both in and outside of our classrooms and have provided a platform for all voices to be heard on such significant topics as civility, social justice, civic engagement, cultural diversity, global challenges and personal responsibility.
The 2009-10 theme, Dollars and Sense: Personal Finance to World Poverty, was supported by an impressive array of events, including presentations by the author of the summer reading "Nickel and Dimed" Barbara Ehrenreich; James Scurlock; Dr. Vandana Shiva; and through many activities organized by student organizations and departments.
This year's theme will focus on Teaching and Learning for a New Era. The 2010-2011 theme again demonstrates a commitment to our University's core values of academic excellence, social responsibility, personal growth, and educational opportunity. I encourage faculty and staff to incorporate the theme in the classroom and through campuswide programming. Using this year's theme to start discussions in and out of the classroom, we can fully explore the changes in education and how these changes play in our everyday lives, especially during these challenging times.
The University Theme Speakers Series promotes education and exposure to ideas on the issues facing the future of education and the impact on educators. During the year, numerous outstanding individuals will be on campus to speak, including educational futurist Anya Kamenetz; Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University Michael Wesch; and more to be announced at a later date.
Judith Dallinger, associate provost for undergraduate and graduate studies, will continue to work with the University Theme Committee in conjunction with our First Year Experience program. I want to express my appreciation to the University Theme Committee, under the leadership of Ann Comerford, director of Student Activities, and Colin Harbke, assistant professor of psychology, for their continued efforts to expand University theme programming. I look forward to seeing you at these events throughout the year.