Strategic Directions

Drop Shadow

School of Peace Studies: Open Forum, March 17, 2005

[pdf file for printing]

Facilitators: Pat Drinan, Teresa O’Rourke

Pat Drinan referenced the handout from the February workshop, establishing the open forum process of discussing each theme in the order presented on the handout. He asked that attendees focus on what can be accomplished over 5 years.

Comments from Forum Participants

Theme 1: Infuse justice and the Catholic intellectual tradition into the School of Peace Studies.

  • Must look at justice and the international tradition as well as the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • Internationalization may not be compatible with a Catholic program - must not go overboard in focusing on the Catholic intellectual tradition – may turn people away; program may be seen as a “Catholic program.”
  • Must not be apologetic for Catholic background or tradition: important to look at Catholicism with a “small c” (universal).
  • May need emphasis on religion in areas of peace/conflict – how religion is sometimes the base or cause of the conflict.
  • Catholic intellectual tradition and social teachings may be the “soul of Peace Studies” – showcase where we are going with internationalization and how to infuse justice issues.
  • May be an opportunity to grapple with issues of the Catholic Church and the Catholic nature of University
  • May be an arena for Catholic identity: arts, sciences, culture
  • Discussion has been occurring since the 1950s about Catholic nature of universities, specifically in the last 15 years with Ex Corde Ecclesia
  • Important to differentiate: not policy, but philosophy, with Catholic social justice.
  • Most of the discussion has been on international issues: USD should focus on international and domestic issues; some of the academic units already are dealing with the domestic issues through local outreach
  • Question about what the workshop table group meant by “emphasize ‘forgiveness’ beyond conflict resolution: does this mean forgiveness of war crimes or debt?

Theme 2: Blend the best of traditional and non-traditional formats in the new School.

  • Comment: seems as if most of the brainstorming ideas focused on non-traditional formats for the new school. Teaching and research is what we do best – may need to mention these traditional aspects as well.
  • Question: how do the non-traditional formats affect the current Masters’ degree?
  • This new school cannot bring peace to everywhere: may need to tailor education and research in this endeavor, focusing on specific areas.
  • Wonder about the February workshop discussion pertaining to military and Homeland Security: is there an acceptance of military issues and programs? Question how the School of Peace Studies and military can coexist on campus. Pat talked about the advantages: USD’s location and educational programs; having military professionals in the region engaged in discussions of peace and peacekeeping efforts; and USD may have a role in reaching out, helping to shape the discussion, and providing innovative approaches in conflict/peace situations. Concerning Homeland Security: Schools of Business and Law can provide attractive opportunities to address public law, business practices, training for JAG officers. Also, USD could become a forum for people to discuss and support humanitarian relief efforts.
  • Themes 1 and 2 are interrelated: theme 1 suggests that we know what is just/right/useful and must get involved, go out and do good works; theme 2 begs that we as a university address questions of ‘What is justice?’, ‘What does it require?’. As a university, we must investigate these questions (teaching, research). As a flagship school, we must have the vision to address these academic questions with high academic caliber and rigor. Therefore, we must first address a basic question: will this be a major academic school or will its focus be “out in the trenches”?
    • Suggestion: Define academic nature of school first – programs will follow.
  • It was stated that the intent of the gift focused on a doctoral program: specific field of study; visiting scholars; post-doctorate work. USD needs to think about the academic level of this school. There is an assumption that synergy with undergraduate programs will develop even though the focal point of gift is the graduate program. Must move away from a notion of a token minor in peace studies: involve undergraduates. (Statement that there is a sense of exclusion for the undergraduates at KIPJ.)
  • Suggestion: maybe over this 5-year action plan cycle (as the School of Peace Study develops), USD should focus on the minor – helping to mature the UG program – rather than developing a doctoral program in 5 years.
  • Question: how can the School of Peace Studies grow with the University? If USD is moving from a regional university to a national university, what is the role of the School of Peace Studies: to follow or to lead? Must develop together – harmonize, work with, move toward future together; grow exponentially as the rest of the University grows. May need to work now for social justice domestically with the vision to expand out.
  • USD has a unique opportunity: we are on the forefront; lead with academic vision; allow Catholic Social Teaching to be at heart of vision; scholarship and research must be major focus of new School. Create rewards within the University for increased scholarship in the peace and justice arena. Need to stretch ourselves.
  • Institute for Peace and Justice has moved us into the international arena; already building international credibility and can build upon that momentum. IPJ could help us to meet our strategic goals.

Theme 3: USD’s location creates a natural focus on Mexico, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim

  • Would question the premise of this theme: IPJ focuses on stages/conflicts throughout world (e.g., Africa): Why limit ourselves?
  • Focusing on relationships is important: School of Peace Studies should be in line with the strategic focus of the whole university: internationalization.
  • Seems to be a question of thematic/functional (e.g., prevention, development) versus geographic: IPJ and field typically focuses on thematic/functional.
  • Geographic and functional can be interrelated: attendee came from a conflict resolution workshop and wants to take those skills and focus on geographic area (Mexico).
  • Donor wanted international focus: focus on geographic may be too limiting in that vision.
  • USD would limit itself with geographic/regional focus. May not be an “either-or” – USD should promote “international” focus – international includes Mexico, Latin America… Don’t need to specify regions.
  • Seems that skills in Arabic language and understanding of the Middle East would address issues facing current world situation. Focus on Mexico, Latin America and Pacific Rim may limit response to current world situation.
  • Pat wanted to measure how the attendees felt regarding geographic or thematic focus of new School: response was overwhelming in favor of thematic (2 people in favor of geographic; all others responded in favor of thematic/international focus).
  • May be important to look at what USD can be done in the next 5 years: promote USD, move toward eventual vision.
  • USD currently has good relationships with Mexico and has developed a number of programs and conferences through Schools of Law, Business and Nursing, TBI. May need to continue developing these while School of Peace Studies is developing.
  • Question about creating a niche for USD: would our focus be too similar to IRPS at UCSD? May want to develop a synergy with the other local universities (e.g., languages, outreach) and then find a unique contribution for the students.

Theme 4: Identify contributions that each existing school can make to the new one.

  • Question: what did the workshop group mean by “multi-track program”? Response: Best way to leverage $1.6 million is to have cross-listed courses with 1 st class faculty at Peace Studies and existing schools. For example, Schools of Education and Law may want to add courses on peace that supports new school. School of Peace Studies doesn’t have to be the only place on campus to offer courses supporting peace studies. All benefit from cross-listing: cross-listed classes could be open to advanced undergraduates; attract first class faculty interested in teaching beyond own school.
  • Question: How do existing faculty participate? Split time, joint appointment? Need to figure out mechanics. Dr. Lazarus had set aside seed money to bring in faculty that can be leveraged by more than one area. Use same concept.
  • One possible complication: many departments don’t have graduate programs – how do they contribute to a School of Peace Studies that is graduate-focused? One response: open some courses to advanced undergraduates.
  • Theme #4 is most important goal – must remember that small steps already happening. Focus of most of 5-year action planning window would be working out the details of split time, cross-listing, how to best leverage resources… Need to draw on the strengths already generated by KIPJ. Have a lot of creative talent already at USD – must decide how best to leverage this talent.
  • Question on workshop idea concerning 1-unit class. May be important to incorporate 1-unit courses to jump start program and begin freeing up faculty in one school to help in School of Peace Studies.
  • Comment that the establishment of the School is the responsibility of the founding dean and faculty. Cannot go too far in these open forums and discussions without the dean and faculty in place. Response: This is a “chicken or egg” situation -- how much planning must be in place in order to recruit and yet not go too far?
  • Important questions to decide: What are we training students for? Will there be a language requirement? Important to realize that the goals of the School of Peace Studies has not been defined.
    • Current MA students seem to gravitate toward 3 options after graduating: go on to more education (Ph.D. or law school); work for Peace Corps or NGOs; work for government organization.

Next Steps (from workshop notes)

  • New provost will help decide the focus of this new school and will recruit for and hire founding dean.
  • May want to establish a “Blue Ribbon Committee”: comments ranged from being highly-visible to members being from around country to members having an international focus (not just from United States). Committee would help vet ideas and set direction of new school. Two advantages: founding dean may be one of the members and/or recruited by a member; committee members will have vested interest in the success of the school.
  • Academic research must be highly-visible.
  • Need to have a bigger frame of reference, a global perspective.
  • Important that deans are involved in the full process of this new school: survey, timeline, hiring new dean, developing cross-listed courses, sharing resources, etc.