Bringing It

Bringing It #90: New Academic Year, Opportunities, Events, And Things To Read

September 07, 2022

Dear friends,

As we enter the beginning of a new academic year, we want to share with you a message on returning to campus from our Director. We would also like to highlight some new job opportunities, events, and conferences, as well as what we have been reading as the new school year commences.

Return to Campus

The start of the academic year comes with a change of address for BT2P. We’ve moved into larger offices in a lovely brick house, Powell House, shared with friends and colleagues in Art History and are graced with a front porch.

I was chatting on that porch with our new housemates last week when a student, exhibiting that mix of hurry and worry that marks a first-year student in the first week of classes, came to the stairs. “I don’t think this is right,” he said. “I’m looking for my astronomy class in the Powell Building.” We explained that Elon has both a Powell House and a Powell Building and pointed him in the right direction.

In upcoming issues of Bringing It and elsewhere, we’ll have a lot to say this fall about the crises in higher education and the work of the BT2P community to respond to them. But it’s good to remember that, for a moment in September, something utterly new is beginning. It’s good to keep in mind a first-year student whose worry is to find the classroom where he can study the stars.


Job Opportunities

Bonner Foundation: Program Manager

BT2P’s friends at the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation (Princeton, NJ) are seeking a full-time Program Manager to support the work of Bonner Scholar and Leader Programs at 70+ colleges and universities nationwide. The Bonner program provides colleges with a replicable model to develop students through service, positively impact communities, and build an infrastructure for sustained campus-community partnerships. The Program Manager is a member of the Bonner Foundation staff and campus support team, working closely with other Foundation staff members to develop resources, programming, and initiatives, plan special events, and provide support for community-engagement professionals. Application reviews will be on-going with an expected start date of October 31, 2022. To learn more see here.

Towson University: Coordinator for Community Engagement

Our friends at Towson University (TU) are seeking a Coordinator for Community Engagement in the university’s Student Affairs Division to support the implementation of community engagement programs and initiatives on TU’s campus. There are opportunities to develop short and long-term learning opportunities centered around areas such as environmental health, nutrition security, gender equality, immigrant rights, and racial equity. The application closes on September 28, 2022. To learn more and apply see here.

Fall Events and Conferences

Bryan Alexander Future Trends Forum

The Future Trends Forum is an open video conversation event created and hosted by Bryan Alexander. Each week, Bryan brings on speakers to discuss a range of topics across higher education, including open education and institutional transformation. On Thursday, September 8, 2022, our Director David Scobey will be the featured guest speaker discussing The Paradigm Project. The forum will be held from 2:00-3:00pm (EDT) and you can learn more here

Imagining America

The Imagining America National Gathering is being held in-person October 14-16, 2022 in partnership with Tulane University, the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, and a local committee in New Orleans, LA. The conference is titled “Rituals of Repair and Renewal,” and will address pressing current issues regarding transformative education and action through immersive conversations and strategy work. To learn more and register for the conference see here.

Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities

The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ 27th Annual Conference is being held October 23-26, 2022 in San Diego, CA. Titled, “The Essential Role of Urban and Metropolitan Universities,” the conference is centered on how CUMU’s mission can be accomplished through objectives including K-16 Student Success and Support, Racial Equity and Social Mobility, and others. To learn more and register for the conference see here.

What We’re Reading: “Our House Is Burning”

Our friend Eric Mlyn, a longtime leader of civic engagement at Duke University, has just published an important provocation in Inside Higher Ed, calling on higher education to intensify the defense of American democracy. “Our old approaches to civic education are woefully inadequate,” it argues, to combat the rising threat of authoritarianism in the U.S. The essay, “Our House Is Burning,” offers a valuable thumbnail history of the academy’s commitment to civic engagement, from the landmark 1947 Truman Commission report to the growth of service learning and community partnerships to civil discourse initiatives like Braver Angels. 

But Mlyn goes on to lament—respectfully, but firmly—that new focus on overcoming polarization through dialogue. “These more recent initiatives are well intended, [but] they still fail fundamentally to meet the nature of the threat we’re facing,” he argues. What is needed is for academic leaders and campus programs to confront head-on authoritarian tendencies. 

Even if you disagree with this call to leave behind an ethic of civil dialogue for an emergency defense of democracy—especially if you do—this is an important read.

Thanks for staying in touch, contributing to our work, and for all that you do,

David, Paul, Todd, and Gianna