The SUNY Cortland Institute for Civic Engagement will present a panel discussion, "Is It the End of the University We Know It: Do We Feel Fine?," at noon on Oct. 8 in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.
The sandwich seminar is free and open to the public.
Panelists include Brian D. Barrett, an assistant professor in the SUNY Cortland Foundations and Social Advocacy Department and Anthony J. Nocella, a lecturer in the Sociology/Anthropology Department. Jerome O'Callaghan, associate professor of political science and the associate dean for the School of Arts and Sciences, will moderate the discussion.
The panelists will be responding to an op-ed editorial, "End the University As We Know It," that appeared in The New York Times on April 26, 2009. Written by Mark C. Taylor, chair of the Columbia University Religion Department, the article can be found at: www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/opinion/27taylor.html.
"Dr. Taylor's controversial critique of universities of higher education has sparked a great deal of discussion about the organization and role of colleges in the 21st century," explained Richard Kendrick, the director of the Institute for Civic Engagement, noting that more than 400 responses have been posted on The New York Times Web site.
"Dr. Taylor expresses the view that colleges need to integrate their programs to create more interdisciplinary collaborations, do away with traditional departments, increase their ties to one another to avoid duplication of programs, and abolish tenure. These are provocative ideas that have generated a lot of debate. I think it's important to have an opportunity to think about them and respond to them, so I expect the discussion to be lively."
Kendrick noted that Barrett and Nocella are both well-qualified to respond to Taylor's concerns raised in his editorial.
Barrett serves as the graduate follow-up coordinator with the College's Cortland Urban Recruitment of Educators (C.U.R.E.) program. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Sociology of Education Association and his work has recently been published in several journals, including Teaching and Teacher Education, the British Journal of Sociology of Education, Religion and Education, and Educational Studies. Barrett has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Notre Dame's Center for Research on Educational Opportunity.
Nocella, a Ph.D. candidate in Social Science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, earned master's degrees in peacemaking and conflict studies from Fresno Pacific University and in cultural foundations of education from Syracuse University. He has published more than 25 articles in a variety of journals. Most recently, he was the co-editor on a volume devoted to issues in higher education, Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex.