Proposed action objective:
Establish the Center for Humanities and Technology (CHAT) to explore and advance the use of technology in teaching humanities. This would underscore our institutional strength in and commitment to the humanities, now with respect to emerging technologies, and position ourselves at the forefront of this important but understudied frontier. To achieve its overall objectives, CHAT will:
- assess the cultural, educational and social impacts of technology;
- conduct research, by USD faculty, students, or by visiting fellows, in those impacts;
- operate one or more laboratory classrooms, perhaps in a new information resources building, in order to conduct research on an educational environment that has not essentially changed in two millennia;
- publish a journal containing the results of our own research as well as relevant research by others; and conduct a conference on campus once yearly, to further publicize CHAT and the work it supports.
How does this objective contribute to one or more of USD’s overall strategic goals?
Supports Goal #2, “USD will provide integrated learning experiences across educational contexts and contribute to the scholarly research on ethics to develop intentionally the leadership capacities of all students,” and Goal #4, “USD gives a privileged place to the liberal arts and sciences.” CHAT builds on USD’s strengths in the humanities, together with its goals and mission statement, in an IT-based initiative for the 21 st century and beyond. It is unique regionally and nationally because of its emphasis on the humanities.
Who is responsible for implementing and monitoring this objective?
The initial Director (and author of this proposal) would be Bart Thurber, Professor of English. Advisory Team to include David Todd, CIO; Gary Macy, Professor of Religious Studies; Jim Gump, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of history; Larry Hinman, Professor of Philosophy; Gary Schneider, Professor of Information Systems, USD Business School; Jack Pope, Director of Academic Information Services; an undergraduate and graduate student to be named later; select faculty at other institutions; one or more USD trustees.
What steps are necessary to achieve this objective?
- Appoint a director and advisory board. Begin publicity and fundraising efforts.
- Establish an annual conference, to be held at USD, and a journal to publish its proceedings.
- Establish a program to enrich the practice of teaching in the humanities by bringing visiting teacher/scholars to USD, providing release time for USD faculty, and supporting students involved in educational development.
- Focus fundraising efforts upon building an endowment to support investments in new technology and visiting scholars.
- Participate in the design of instructional facilities in the Information Resources building, where CHAT will ultimately be housed.
What measurable indicator(s) can be used to monitor progress?
Conferences held; journals published.
USD courses transformed.
Publications in humanities journals resulting from this program.
Grants secured; funds raised.
Assessments of program’s impact on student learning.
Proposed timeline—what is to be accomplished by:
|2005-06||Directory and advisory board named. Initiate planning for conference and journal. Begin exploring potential sources of external funds.|
|2006-07||First conference held, with proceedings published in journal. Submit first grant proposals to outside agencies.|
|2007-08||First visiting fellows arrive on campus to work with USD faculty and students. Begin active search for named gifts to fund an endowment. Second conference and proceedings.|
|2008-09||Second group of visiting fellows arrive. Third conference and proceedings. Grant writing and fundraising efforts continue.|
|2009-10||Established program expands as additional external funds permit.|
What resources will be required to accomplish this objective?
|Financial||In its initial phase (the first two or three years), CHAT will require $85,000 per year from USD to fund the half time director, initial costs for the conference and journal, and costs incidental to the director's fund-raising and grant writing activities. Funding the second phase will require an additional $200,000 per year from USD to increase the director to 3/4 time and provide fellowships for distinguished visiting faculty, release time for USD faculty, and stipends for USD students. A potential third phase would involve additional fundraising efforts, grants, cooperative arrangements with local and regional hardware and software firms and/or gifts in kind to achieve an equipment acquisition and development budget of up to $1 million per year in external funding.|
|Personnel||Director, 1/2 time 2006-2007; full or 3/4 time 2008-onward; executive assistant. CHAT would draw upon the interdisciplinary instructional design specialists hired proposed under Educational Innovation, with occasional outside consultants.|
|Space||One or more experimental classrooms; 1-2 offices for visiting fellows; Common Room, shared with EDIG, to gather and facilitate interchange of ideas.|
|Technical||Support from the interdisciplinary instructional design specialists proposed under Educational Innovation and from the ITS technical support staff.|