Culture target of new group
Debut: New organization begins with slide show about classic artBy
USC's Vice President of Student Affairs, and Mark Kann, a political science
professor, came together last fall to establish the ambitious Academic Culture
Initiative, a program designed to enhance the academic life of students and
faculty by encouraging intellectual interaction outside of the
"Learning takes place in the
classroom, on the campus and in the community," USC Provost Lloyd Armstrong Jr.
said at that time. "The goal of the Academic Culture Initiative is to enhance
and expand that learning, increasing the number of academic experiences that can
take place outside the classroom. Those engaged in the life of the mind are
being asked to take it to a higher level."
On Wednesday, those ideas
bore fruit. The "Great Culture Series" lectures was held at Leavey Library
Ruth Weisberg, the Dean of
the School of Fine Arts, served as the chief speaker, sharing her life-long
passions for the world of art.
This lecture series will be
held monthly and will help students learn more about diversity in art, music and
"It is a great opportunity
for students to get a sense of the importance of art, music and literature
towards making their lives beautiful," Kann said.
Wednesday's event was the
first of many planned during several brainstorming sessions held with faculty
and student leaders since last fall.
"This exciting program will
positively affect the lives of students and faculty for years to come," Jackson
told the USC Chronicle. "USC is maturing into an institution that is becoming as
well-known for the vibrancy of its academic culture as it is for its sports
program and social activities.
"In addition, the Academic
Culture Initiative will help the university continue to attract the very best
students and faculty from around the world."
Louise Yates, an assistant
dean of engineering who has served on the ACI's planning committees,
"It is a very exciting and
far-reaching initiative," Yates said. "As we look at ways to go beyond the
classroom, I think it's important to develop in our students an intellectual
curiosity about the community and world in which they live. It requires
involvement from everyone faculty, students and staff."
There are also plans for a
series of dinners at various dining facilities for students to discuss issues of
"Maybe the faculty can even
invite students to their home for dinner," Kann said. "Even simple things like
fashioning benches on campus face to face, to form inviting places to sit, can
go a long way in increasing faculty-student interaction.
"We are planning to form sets
of tables and chairs near Kaprielian Hall, which virtually lacks casual sitting
and interaction place."
For next spring, organizers
are planning a fair where undergraduate and graduate students from various
fields such as engineering and fine arts can display their work in graphics and
The Student Advisory Board, a
student-run branch of the ACI also has been formed.
"While faculty was more
interested in faculty-student intellectual interactions, students were more
interested in ways to improve their job prospects," Kann said. "So we came up
with this idea of forming a student organization which would represent the views
and opinions of students."
Dara Purvis, a junior
majoring in political science who is also Daily Trojan columnist, volunteered to
form the board.
"The Student Advisory Board
will set up a sounding board to serve as a forum to discuss the proposals and
ideas of the Academic Culture Initiative, a way to get quick student feedback on
different ideas," Purvis said. "It will also act as the first level of a filter
for proposals to use funding of the Academic Culture Initiative."
Copyright 2001 by the Daily
Trojan. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Vol. 144, No. 22
(Thursday, September 27, 2001), beginning on page 1 and ending on page