In the 2009-10 academic year, Southern Oregon University initiated the annual campus-wide theme program. The goal of the campus theme is to create opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and the community to engage in intellectually stimulating and healthy conversations across disciplines on a topic or issue that matters to us all. Through Campus Theme, we ponder big questions, promote deeper understanding, and broaden our intellectual horizons.
Inspiration for the Campus Theme comes from SOU’s deep commitment to expanding dialogue across disciplines and to building bridges between higher education and the broader community.
The Campus Theme activities include lectures, panel discussions, seminars, and conversations throughout the academic year to explore the theme from multiple perspectives. Each fall, a speaker of national renown kicks off the campus theme conversation through public lectures and classroom visits. Throughout the year, SOU faculty, as well as other prominent guest speakers, continue the conversation.
SOU campus themes have included the following:
- tocqueville imagining america: How have Tocqueville’s writings on American democracy shaped our understanding of America? How do Tocqueville’s writings help us imagine America in new ways?
- On Being Human: What does it mean to be human? How has our understanding of what it means to be human changed over the centuries?
- Civility: Is there something inherent about democracy that contributes to our contentious way of solving problems or debating issues? How have our private and public values contributed to the incivility in society? What can we do to increase civility among groups and at all levels in our society?
All campus theme programs are open to the public. We invite the community to join us in our explorations.