UI faculty hit the road for 'listening tour'
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It may be the end of the semester at the University of Iowa, but for about 30 faculty, there’s more learning to take place—only this time it will be outside the classroom and away from Iowa City.
Faculty across the university are traveling to northeast and southeast Iowa this week as part of the UI’s annual Faculty Engagement Corps. Now in its ninth year, the trip gives faculty a clearer understanding of the cultural, historical, economic, and educational underpinnings of the state, and introduces them to the communities from which their students come and in which the state’s taxpayers live.
This year’s trip will roughly follow the Mississippi River, starting in Guttenberg and including stops south all the way to Muscatine. Starting on Wednesday, May 21, the UI group will visit with leaders in the Clayton Ridge Community School District meet with city officials in Dubuque, tour the Big River Resources ethanol plant in Dyersville, explore Le Claire and the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, gather with civic and community representatives in Muscatine and tour the UI’s Lucille A. Carver Mississippi River Environmental Research Stations before returning to Iowa City the evening of Friday, May 23.
You can follow along on Twitter through the @UIowaResearch account or by using the hashtag #UIEngaged14.
The Faculty Engagement Corps began in 2006 as part of the university’s Year of Public Engagement and has continued with trips to different regions of Iowa each May. Past participants have praised the program, sponsored by the Provost's Office, for offering them a window into their students’ pre-university lives and helping them understand the issues of most importance to their fellow Iowans.
“This trip is a learning mission for our faculty—an opportunity to find out how we can put our resources into the service of Iowa communities and to learn from what they are already doing so well,” says UI Provost P. Barry Butler. "For these faculty and the communities they visit, it’s a terrific way to start learning about some of the connections we already have all over the state, and perhaps spark some new ideas for collaboration.”