Introducing a blog-style dialogue for our University
As “NSights” launches, it is important to remember that dialogue, on all of the issues college campuses face today, is at the heart of what we do at the University.
I've been asked to contribute on occasion to the University's new blog, "NSights," which I am more than happy to do.
It is my understanding that "NSights" will offer perspectives from the faculty, staff and students of our University. These perspectives will deal with issues of importance in the ongoing conversations we have on our campus, and within the many communities we serve.
As "NSights" launches, it is important to remember that dialogue, on all of the issues college campuses face today, is at the heart of what we do at the University. In this day and age, where opinions are offered in a millisecond, often in a dogmatic, reactive manner, I find it heartening that "NSights" aspires to cater to a more deliberative and thoughtful approach.
College and university campuses, by their very nature, must nurture and support an environment for civil dialogue around our most important social and political issues. This is part of our mission: We are preparing our students to be responsible, informed and educated citizens of a democratic society. The type of civil discourse that we encourage on our campus is the type of civil discourse that I hope this blog will also create. Perspectives that are often at odds with our own, when presented reasonably and with sensitivity, can often lead to profound understanding and the creation of a bridge of respect that helps us all.
In many ways, it is this push-pull of dialogue, this free and respectful exchange of ideas, which is at the heart of the success of our democratic society. In 2012, The National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement wrote that college learning and the future of democracy have always been interwoven, highly interdependent institutions that find their highest degree of effectiveness when they work together, particularly when the elements of "intergroup and deliberative dialogue" is mobilized.
Blogging, of course, seems tailor-made to accomplish this type of goal.
As NSights grows, and its list of contributors eventually spans the entire campus, providing all of the varying perspectives that are needed for deliberative dialogue to be successful, I fully expect the discussions that will be carried on here will be interesting, impactful and meaningful.
I'm looking forward to reading what our campus has to say. And please let me know what you think about what I have to say, too.
Marc Johnson was appointed to serve as the 16th president of the University of Nevada, Reno on April 20, 2012. Johnson had previously served as interim president, executive vice president and provost at the University since 2008.