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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 17, 2003

UI Chautauqua To Address Role, Value Of Public Universities

Concerns about the economic difficulties facing public universities led a group of faculty from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to organize "A Chautauqua on Public Universities, Citizenship and The Liberal Arts and Sciences," Feb. 26 in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The event starts at 2 p.m. and includes music, refreshments, displays, and a slide show of Chautauqua materials held by the UI Libraries. A musical program by the Iowa Brass Quintet begins at 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m. incoming President David Skorton will share his vision of the future of the university as the first speaker on a panel that includes faculty members Amitava Bhattacharjee (physics and astronomy), Jeff Cox (history; Faculty Senate president), and Philip Kutzko (mathematics); Charlotte Westerhaus, director of the Office of Affirmative Action; Gina Patnaik, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Rod Hise, a UI alumnus.

Kim Marra, a UI associate professor of theater arts and co-chair of the Chautauqua committee, said, "Our purpose is to focus attention on the enormous value of public higher education. The 19th Century Chautauquas were a way for people to gather together for several days of education, inspiration, enlightenment, and enjoyment and to engage in open forums for the discussion of public issues, literature, music, and science. We hope to do the same thing in 2003 Iowa with a campus-wide conversation that engages in historical and philosophical as well as financial terms the significance of the "public" in our university identification."

Other Chautauqua events are scheduled throughout the semester including:

Feb. 10 to April 1: "Chautauqua: Culture for Everyone" on display in the Main Library

Feb. 27: "The Teaching Mission at a State University -- How Is It Special?" 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Ohio State Room (343 IMU), sponsored by the Center for Teaching

Feb. 28: "Teaching Tough Topics: Dealing with the non-Politically Correct in a Very Politically Correct World," 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Lucas Dodge Room (256 IMU), sponsored by the Center for Teaching

March 1: "Graduate Education, Citizenship, and Public Universities," 4:10 to 5:10 p.m. in the IMU Ballroom, a panel discussion sponsored by the Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry

March 5: UI Student Government sponsored trip to Des Moines to join students from the other Regents institutions for a rally in support of higher education in the state of Iowa

April 2: "Diversity in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Where Are We and Where Do We Want to Be?" 3:30 to 5 p.m. in 40 Schaeffer Hall, a discussion sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Faculty Assembly Diversity Committee

More information is available online

Sponsors include the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Educational Policy Committee, the Provost's Office, the Vice President for Student Services, the Faculty Senate, the department of history, the department of religious studies, the Division of Performing Arts, POROI, the UI Dental Hygiene Alumni Association, the UI Student Government (UISG), and the Women's Resource and Action Center

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Kim Marra, 319-335-2700, or Teresa Mangum, 319-335-0323,