While spring quarter is wrapping up, the 2010 through 2011 Campus Community Book Project is under way.
This week, the Campus Council on Community and Diversity (CCCD) announced that next year’s topic will reflect on the “the value of education” and “barriers to higher education” to address the harsh economic climate that the state of California is facing and increasing cuts to educational funding.
“Recent discussions on the current economy’s impact on higher education, the importance of an educated workforce in a more competitive marketplace, and the growing diversity in colleges and universities make this an important topic in which to engage the university and greater community” said Mikael Villalobos, administrator of Diversity Education and chair of the book project.
“As an educational institution, we endeavor to explore these dynamics and engage thoughtfully about an issue that crosses all segments of the community and touches everyone’s lives.“
Villalobos and the Campus Council on Community and Diversity are currently accepting book nominations from all campus and community members interested in submitting a piece of literature that best fits the chosen theme. Submissions can be sent directly to Villalobos at email@example.com, and will be considered through the end of this month.
According to Vickie Gomez, program coordinator in the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost, this topic comes at a time of specific relevance, as the University of California faces a 2,300 reduction in student admission for next year’s freshman class, continuing budget cuts and talk of eliminating Cal Grants and other major sources of financial aid.
“Personally, I would hope that the book that we choose will reinforce the importance of higher education with regard to the current economy and the critical issues we’re facing with the structure of our educational system,” she said.
“I think our previous books fit the same theme, of looking collective systems – before in terms of global and local health and now in terms of a quality education and the barriers to achieving it. Either way, we’re looking at ways to improve the system, what is working and what isn’t in light of new challenges, and how we can approach this, and make improvements in the future.“
The purpose of the Campus and Community Book Project as a whole is to “improve both the campus climate and community relations, to increase diversity and to promote equity and inclusiveness,” according to the Offices of Campus Community Relations‘ mission statement.
Book nominations that promote this theme will be considered and shared with a panel of faculty, staff and community members who read and review the nominations over summer and make a final decision at the end of August.
The official selection for the 2010-2011 Campus Community Book Project will be announced in late winter quarter 2010, concurrent with the 2009-2010 project showcasing Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places on Earth.
MICHELLE IMMEL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.