Deliberation & Debate: Advancing Civil Discourse through Courses for First-Year Students 7/25/2021 7/25/2021 7/25/20217/28/20217/28/20217/28/2021 Washington, DC
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Why This Workshop?

UPDATE: The Workshop on Deliberation & Debate has been rescheduled for July 25-28, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Deliberation & Debate logo​The workshop will hone the skills of faculty members who teach courses for first-year students; support the development of new courses; and build a network of faculty members across institutions who prepare students for the challenges, diversity, and disputes about ideas that are elements of a rigorous liberal arts education. CIC senior advisor Michael Gilligan, former president of the Henry Luce Foundation, will direct the workshop that will take place July 12–15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Twenty teams from CIC member institutions, each comprising two faculty members, will participate in the workshop.
 
Students come to college from local communities and a world increasingly characterized by harsh divisions and polarization, where voices are strident, objective facts are often discounted, and respect for difference is often seen as capitulation. Yet, at the heart of the liberal arts mission is the pursuit of knowledge and truth through intellectual exchange and debate. Many if not most of today’s first-year students arrive unprepared to discuss controversial issues with respect for a diversity of ideas and opinions. Hoping to deepen their own identities and to find community in college, students instead find themselves defensive, fearful of other opinions, and isolated in their own still-uncertain positions.    
 
This workshop is designed for faculty members who teach first-year courses: a) orientations to classroom survival skills, b) expository writing courses, and c) the kind of “big ideas” seminars that lead students from their more limited experiences to learning about new ideas and discussing them with respect for others’ views. Through the workshop’s four days, faculty members will explore strategies and rhetorical practices that promote learning and civil discourse such as logical argument, use of evidence, formal debate, clear and persuasive writing, deliberative pedagogy, constructive disagreement, and empathic listening.

Workshop Director

​Michael Gilligan is president emeritus of the Henry Luce Foundation, where he led programs for learning and leadership at more than 400 colleges and universities. He previously served as director of accreditation and leadership education at the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Earlier in his career, he was professor of English and dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the Pontifical College Josephinum. Doctorally trained at the University of Virginia in English language and literature, Gilligan has specialized in rhetoric, faculty development, and institutional improvement. In more than 20 years of teaching and administration, he has focused on the moments of transition: from high school to college, from undergraduate to graduate school, and from the university to civic engagement.

Presenters and Agenda

  • ​Sara Mehltretter Drury, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Director of Democracy and Public Discourse, Wabash College (on Deliberative Pedagogy)
  • Daniel Fitzmier, Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication and Director of the Northwestern Debate Society, Northwestern University (on Debate and Argumentation)
  • Debra Mashek, Executive Director, Heterodox Academy (on Dealing with Difference)
  • Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University (Keynote Address)
  • Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, President Emerita, Kalamazoo College (on One College's Experience with Campus Conflict)
  • Kathy Whatley, Senior Advisor for CIC Academic Programs (on First Year Courses that Prepare Students for Success in College and Life)

Participants, Location, and Expenses

UPDATE: The Workshop on Deliberation & Debate has been rescheduled for July 25-28, 2021, in Washington, DC.

CIC will select 40 participants—two each from 20 institutions—for the inaugural workshop by competitive nomination. Full-time faculty members at CIC member institutions are eligible to be considered. The seminar will take place at the Madison Hotel in Washington DC, beginning the afternoon of Sunday, July 12 and concluding on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 by noon. Lodging, most meals, and workshop materials will be provided through generous support from Charles Koch Foundation. Participants or their institutions are expected to cover transportation to and from the workshop location. A small number of stipends will be available to assist with those costs, if needed.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Nomination Process

​Faculty members who wish to participate must be nominated as a team by the chief academic officer of the nominees’ institution. Each institution may nominate more than one two-person team; full-time faculty members of any academic rank may be nominated. Nomination packets consisting of the following should be submitted online:

  1. Nomination letter from the chief academic officer explaining why it is of value to the institution and to the nominees to participate in the seminar;
  2. Completed nomination form;
  3. Nominees’ curriculum vitae; and
  4. A statement of reasons from the faculty-member team for wishing to participate in the seminar and of anticipated impact on first year courses. The statement should address how the faculty members have helped students to consider topics from several points of view as well as how their first-year courses have prepared students for the intellectual diversity and deliberation in upper level courses.

Please submit the nomination materials online by Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

CIC will announce the selected participants by Friday, March 13, 2020.

Contact Information

​For questions about the workshop or nomination process, contact Stephen Gibson, CIC’s director of programs, at sgibson@cic.nche.edu or by phone at (202) 466-7230.