Site Logo

Hello, you are using an old browser that's unsafe and no longer supported. Please consider updating your browser to a newer version, or downloading a modern browser.

Skip to main content
Institute for Citizens & Scholars
Private Higher Education
Date Approved

Colleges nationwide are grappling with an erosion of civil discourse in their classrooms. Even with good intentions, many undergraduates do not know how to engage in dialogue across lines of difference. This poses a threat to the spirit of open inquiry essential to higher education. In the face of this threat, faculty members must become adept at helping students cultivate skills and dispositions for civil discourse. A diverse group of campus presidents rated this need as their #1 priority for changing campus culture.

With that in mind, the Institute for Citizens & Scholars will host a faculty institute, “Dialogue Across Difference and Civil Discourse in the Classroom,” over 2.5 days in early August. Set at Duke’s Kenan Institute, the program will serve up to 30 faculty members, recruited in pairs from over a dozen ideologically diverse institutions.

Participants will learn from highly regarded scholar-practitioners about how to equip students to “disagree agreeably.” Faculty will also acquire tools to develop courses that advance a culture of robust pluralism on their home campuses. This inaugural year will serve as a pilot to identify effective content and strategies for supporting faculty in this work, and to gain insights on how we might scale this effort.