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Letter from President Hill on grant program available for innovative programming

Call For Proposals: Dialogue & Engagement Across Differences

Dear members of the Vassar community,

We are very fortunate to have a community on campus that is richly diverse in backgrounds and perspectives.  Every one of us benefits from the opportunity to engage students, faculty, and staff who come from different parts of the country and the world, who bring different experiences and values to our learning, teaching, and our work on campus.  

We know that within such a diverse community, we often differ strongly in opinion. At times that can mean conversations that are difficult and contentious.  And as we saw during the past academic year, those exchanges can fall short of the respectful dialogue we value at Vassar.  Along with many others, I believe we must do better to support every member of the extraordinary community we are creating here.

Among other initiatives that we are planning for the coming year, I want to announce a grant program available for innovative programming that helps strengthen our community's ability to work across differences.  I wanted to announce it now in the hope that many of you will give this some thought and be ready to consider planning projects with others on campus soon after the semester begins.  I will send it again at the beginning of the fall term. My office will be accepting proposals on a rolling basis and funds will be available throughout the next two academic years. The Call for Proposals is pasted below and also attached.

Download PDF of the Call for Proposals

Thank you.  

Catharine Hill

Call For Proposals:
Dialogue & Engagement Across Differences

Would you like to create a campus-wide event that engages a complex social issue? Can you, your organization and/or your colleagues imagine innovative ways to create space for finding common ground in the face of deep-rooted and intense disagreements? The President’s Office would like to support students, faculty, administrators and staff interested in developing lectures, dialogues, arts events, etc. that speak to Vassar’s commitment to diverse ideas, transformative and respectful dialogue, and the importance of engaging difficult issues as a community.

Over the academic years of 2014-15 and 2015-16, the President’s Office will make available funds to support programs that examine controversial issues facing Vassar and society at large. Topics are unrestricted, but should engage a cross-section of the Vassar campus. Funding priority will go to proposals that bring into conversation the widest group of campus participants, from the planning stages to presentation. Moreover, proposals that explore complex social issues from multidimensional perspectives are encouraged. The inclusion of multiple voices and opinions is central to program funding consideration.

Proposals should include:

  • Program title;
  • Program abstract (maximum 100 words);
  • Detailed program description (maximum 600 words) which should include format description (lecture, workshop, interactive/experiential, or other) and time length;
  • Bios of invited speaker(s) (if applicable)--no more than 100 words for each speaker;
  • Intended goals of the program;
  • Names and contact information for student organizations, campus offices, faculty groups, and/or departments and programs collaborating to produce the program; and
  • Detailed budget.

Deadline open: proposals accepted on an ongoing basis

Submit proposals to presidentsoffice@vassar.edu