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8/31/17 Cover Note for Immediate-Launch Democracy Lab

Call for an Immediate-Launch Democracy Lab in direct response to the events of August 11 and 12

August 31, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As many of you know, Arts & Sciences began work in 2016 developing a new research, teaching, and public engagement effort called the Democracy Initiative. Most of the 2017-18 academic year was intended for planning. However, in light of the horrific events of August 11 and 12, we will jump-start this effort.

Today, I write to share with you the following call for proposals:

Call for an Immediate-Launch Democracy Lab in direct response to the events of August 11 and 12.

This immediate call will be followed in the coming months by a call for additional democracy labs as well as a call for hiring proposals that support the Democracy Initiative framework. We anticipate committing $1 to $3 million for the work of this lab expended over a 2- to 3-year period of time, and we encourage bold and expansive proposals.

We are not limiting our response to the events of August 11 and 12 to Democracy Initiative-related activities. Risa Goluboff, Dean of the Law School, and the team of academic leaders serving on the Working Group in support of the University’s central response is continuing to meet. I am part of that group, and we will provide updates on activities and new developments and we will continue to seek your input.  

Our office is committed to working with departments and units across Arts & Sciences to promote and expand a variety of events and initiatives that have sprung up from faculty, staff, and students. I am very grateful to the many of you who have already organized a variety of forums, and over the coming weeks we will share further information on these activities and seek ways in which we can be providing further support. We will also be seeking your input on how to be advancing our response through our teaching and research mission and faculty recruitment.

Specific to this call: we will hold a meeting on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 12:00 noon in New Cabell Hall (Room 504) to answer questions and provide additional information for faculty interested in proposing an Immediate-Launch Democracy Lab. 

The deadline for responding to this call with a proposal is September 28, 2017.   




Ian Baucom
Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences
University of Virginia