a2ru October 2015 Newsletter   
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A Message from Executive Director Laurie Baefsky

With the 2015 a2ru National Conference at Virginia Tech less than a month away, things are percolating on several fronts at a2ru. We have new members on the ExecutiveCurricular and Co-Curricular, and Research committees, as well as a new coterie of volunteers for our recently minted Third Space Aggregator and Peer Review Task Force. The a2ru strategic plan is underway and the Mellon Review of Best Practices is at the printer—both of which will be shared at the conference.
On the travel front, a2ru will be in Washington, D.C. in early December at a special National Academy of Sciences (NAS) one-day workshop exploring the Arts-Humanities-STEM interface. I’m also enjoying partner campus visits, including trips to USC (September 14), James Madison University’s Celebration of the Arts (October 1), University of Utah’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars Summit (October 5), and Stanford University (October 15). Meeting face-to-face with a2ru faculty, student groups and upper administration has been a major highlight this fall. Thank you to my many hosts.
I look forward to seeing many of you at our conference November 8-11th and want to remind interested parties that partnership in a2ru is open. a2ru supports the full spectrum of arts and integrative arts practices, research and curricula. Our trajectory is and will continue to be arts forward. Have a look at our new a2ru brochure to find out why we are 32 partners strong and growing

All my best,

a2ru 2015 National Conference
November 8-11 
at Virginia  #a2ruWorks                                                              

The a2ru 2015 National Conference hosted by Virginia Tech will be an intimate working conference designed to convene partners and allies to address the next generation of opportunities and challenges facing arts transdisciplinary practice, peer review, infrastructures, and partnerships in research universities. Registration for Groundworks: Improving and Supporting Practice in the Third Space is open to all. 

Conference registration can be found by clicking here. Online registration closes on November 2nd. See our dedicated conference event page for details, and the tentative agenda

The hashtag for the conference is #a2ruWorks. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at a2ru_News and join the conversation!

Six Transdisciplinary Exemplars Selected for the 2015 a2ru National Conference 

Six transdisciplinary exemplars have been chosen for the 2015 a2ru National Conference at Virginia Tech. The call for third space proposals was issued in July and the response exceeded expectations. a2ru would like to thank everyone who submitted proposals as each submission reflects the importance of third space work in higher education.

The exemplars selected for the conference support an ongoing conversation centered on developing new peer review methods and practice for transdisciplinary work that is being led the a2ru Third Space Aggregator and Peer Review Task Force.* Complete details regarding exemplars selected by a2ru (including the names of team members and details regarding their projects) are available online.

*The a2ru Research Committee oversees the a2ru Third Space Aggregator and Peer Review Task Force. Members of both groups can be found here

Mellon Review of Best Practices Will Be Presented at the 2015 a2ru National Conference at Virginia Tech

Surveying The Landscape: Arts Integration at Research Universities is a review of best practices and challenges for arts integration in higher education. This final report is the result of a comprehensive three-year study funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is authored by Dr. Bruce Mackh. The publication was designed by Doug Barrett, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (an a2ru partner institution). Everyone who registers for the 2015 a2ru National Conference at Virginia Tech will receive a copy of the Mellon Review of Best Practices.

a2ru Heads to D.C. in December for NAS Workshop

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) heads for Washington, D.C. as part of an eight-member working group for the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences. NAS is convening a one-day workshop in Washington, D.C. on December 2, 2015 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace exploring the theme: Integrating Education in the Arts and Humanities in Science, Engineering, Technology and Medicine. This working group is partially tasked with aggregating possible evidence for the value of incorporating curricula and experiences including history, literature, language, philosophy, religion, and the arts more integrally into college and university STEM education and workforce training programs. The workshop is funded through The Andrew W. Mellon FoundationThe workshop committee planning members include:
  • William “Bro” Adams, President of the National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Susan Albertine, Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, AAC&U
  • Laurie Baefsky, Executive Director, Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) and the University of Michigan’s ArtsEngine
  • Norman Bradburn, Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the faculties of the University of Chicago’s Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, Department of Psychology, Booth School of Business and the College and a Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Martin Chalfie, University Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, and co-recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
  • Richard K. Miller, President, Olin College of Engineering
  • Suzanna Rose, Director, School of Integrated Science and Humanity at Florida International University, and Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies
  • Pauline Yu, President, American Council of Learned Societies

a2ru Welcomes New Committee Members

a2ru would like to thank outgoing committee members for their service and welcome new ones into the fold. Committee members provide an invaluable contribution to the mission, vision and values of our organization. We look forward to working with each of you as we embark on the SPARC Project: Supporting Practice in Arts, Research and Curricula, a three-year endeavor supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We extend a warm welcome to:
Executive Committee
  • Bill Sherman, University of Virginia 
Curricular and Co-Curricular Committee
  • David Holland, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Lauren Lake, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Alan MacVey, University of Iowa
  • Arny Nadler, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Kristin Sosnowsky, Louisiana State University
  • Valarie Williams, The Ohio State University
  • Rachel Ramist, University of Alabama
Research Committee
  • James A. Agutter, University of Utah
  • Daragh Byrne, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Robert B. Shimko, University of Houston
Third Space Aggregator and Peer Review Task Force
  • Stephen David Beck, Louisiana State University          
  • Ivica Ico Bukvic, Virginia Tech      
  • Carol Burch-Brown, Virginia Tech            
  • Daragh Byrne, Carnegie Mellon University        
  • Laura Chessin, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Kevin Hamilton, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Lindsay Hepler, University of Virginia       
  • R. Benjamin Knapp, Virginia Tech           
  • Anthony J. Kolenic, University of Florida
  • Charles Lilly, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Bruce Mackh, Michigan State University
  • Anne Marie Mondro, University of Michigan     
  • Charles O'Connor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln       
  • Patricia Olynyk, University of Washington in St. Louis   
  • Marvin Glen Parnes, University of Michigan                 
  • Andrew Schulz, Penn State
  • Sha Xin Wei, Arizona State University    
  • J.D. Talasek, The National Academy of Sciences 

Update on the a2ru Strategic Planning Meeting 

Members of the a2ru Executive Committee, a2ru network leadership, and staff convened at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on August 3rd and 4th for a strategic planning meeting conducted by Adrian Ellis and Brent Reidy of AEA Consulting. Items discussed included: five-year goals to promote long-term sustainability, next-phase research, and strategic alliance development. Work on a strategic plan is currently underway. a2ru would like to thank the following attendees for their time and valuable contributions in support of the organization: 
  • Aaron Dworkin, University of Michigan
  • Edward Feser, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
  • Christopher Kendall, University of Michigan
  • Larry Kaptain, University of Colorado Denver
  • Leila Kinney, MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology
  • Barbara Korner, Penn State
  • Lucinda Lavelli, University of Florida
  • Dan Martin, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dave C. Munson Jr., University of Michigan
  • Gunalan Nadarajan, University of Michigan
  • Bob Palazzo, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Andy Schulz, Penn State
  • Bill Sherman, University of Virginia
  • Winston Tabb, John Hopkins University

a2ru 2016 Emerging Creatives Student Summit Hosted by the University of Michigan            

The a2ru 2016 Emerging Creatives Student Summit hosted by the University of Michigan is scheduled for March 9-12, 2016. The conference theme is RISE: Forging Resilient Communities. Programming will take place in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan. A challenge grant will be issued at RISE to encourage students from a2ru partner universities to continue cross-campus work they begin at the summit for the purpose of transforming and revitalizing their communities.

Become an a2ru Partner

Currently composed of 32 top-tier institutions, the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) is committed to transforming research universities in order to ensure the greatest possible institutional support for interdisciplinary research, curricula, programs and creative practice between the arts and other disciplines.

Partnership in a2ru remains open. Information on how to become a partner, as well as our Phase I activities and partner list, can be found by clicking here. You can also review the new a2ru brochure which will give you a sense of where the organization is headed as we boldly go arts forward!

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