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Citizenship Ideas
Citizenship Readings
Support for Citizenship

Service Activities

  1. If you have a committee assignment, seek ways to make a more positive contribution to the committee work: actively participate in the meetings, follow-up on assignments, provide feedback on written materials the committee produces.
  2. Serve your colleagues in a professional association. Assist with conference planning, review proposals, review articles for a journal, serve as a referee of creative work in your area of expertise. Seek advice from others to improve your ability to give professional service.
  3. Work with colleagues to develop a service-learning component in your classes.

Collaborative Teaching Activities

  1. Observe a colleague's teaching and invite the colleague to observe yours. Discuss with each other what you are learning.
  2. Actively participate in Department/College/Faculty Center brown bags, seminars, and workshops on teaching.
  3. Establish a regular time to discuss specific readings on various teaching issues with colleagues.
  4. Team-teach with a colleague. Regularly discuss what you are learning with each other. Gather feedback and together plan ways to improve the course.
  5. Work with a colleague in your department to explore ways student learning can be enhanced in the department. Stimulate discussions with other colleagues in the department.

Collaborative Scholarship Activities

  1. Collaborate on a scholarship project or creative activity with a colleague.
  2. Invite colleagues to review your written work and give suggestions for improvement. Offer to review your colleagues' written work and provide helpful feedback.
  3. Establish a regular time to discuss specific disciplinary readings with colleagues.
  4. Seek ways to collaborate on scholarship with colleagues outside your discipline.
  5. Regularly discuss your current research interests with colleagues in your department or college.
  6. Collaborate with a colleague in presenting scholarly work.
  7. Engage in collaborative activities with colleagues in a professional association.

Activities to Build Collegiality

  1. Find ways to get to know more members of your department. Read their vitae, observe their classes, visit with them in their offices.
  2. Have lunch often with faculty colleagues.
  3. Actively participate in department and/or college seminars.
  4. Organize a faculty discussion or brown bag on a topic of interest. (The Faculty Center is willing to assist, if requested.)
  5. Participate regularly in physical fitness or cultural activities with colleagues.

Citizenship Readings

Britsch, Todd A. "Excellence, Charity, and the University." Address given at the Annual University Conference, Brigham Young University, August 1994.

Kirkham, Kate, "'We, Being Many, Are One." BYU Devotional Address given April 12, 1994.

Warner, C. Terry. "Honest, Simple, Solid, True." BYU Devotional Address given January 16, 1996.

Whetten, David A. "Enter to Learn: How to Organize According to God's Laws." BYU Devotional Address given May, 1997.

Faculty Center Support for Citizenship at BYU

One of the founding goals of the Faculty Center was to foster collegiality on campus. Academics have many demands on their time—unfortunately most faculty tasks can be accomplished within the confines of their offices, laboratories, theaters, or classrooms. The result is often a lack of contact with colleagues. Therefore, one of our objectives is to sponsor informative and stimulating workshops, brown bags, seminars, etc., that will “seed” interdisciplinary conversations regarding the common interests and experiences of faculty members.

Beyond providing opportunities for faculty to meet colleagues, we encourage faculty—especially those with continuing status—to consider how they can build and strengthen BYU as an institution. We all benefit from the efforts of our predecessors who have worked hard to initiate existing programs and champion new ideas. Current faculty should contemplate their gift to subsequent generations of students and faculty. Examples might include: developing a new course, improving a current academic program, fostering better communication among colleagues in allied departments working on related interests, organizing a visiting speakers series, mentoring a student group, developing innovative learning tools, improving the focus and performance of a standing committee, and building stronger linkages with alumni.

In addition to being good citizens in their role as BYU faculty members, it is also important that BYU professors consider how they can strengthen and improve their academic disciplines. Through serving on editorial boards, participating in conferences, organizing workshops, serving as officers in their professional associations, etc., BYU faculty will enhance their opportunities to shape scholarship in their disciplines. President Merrill J. Bateman has indicated how this type of professional service can advance the mission of BYU:

What will be the long-term consequences of the new and growing relationships between our faculty and scholars at other universities? Advances in electronic communications are significantly reducing costs and shortening response times that make practical research collaboration, planning conferences across continents, disseminating research results, etc. . . . these forces will have a profound effect on the quality of both research and teaching at this and other universities. Above all, do we appreciate the cumulative impact we are having on this planet as 8,000 young people graduate annually and move forward as “children of the covenant” to make their contribution to the kingdom and the world? (Annual University Conference, 1998).

In addition to being good citizens, we encourage faculty to consider the importance of teaching good citizenship, by example and by precept. This is an educational goal traditionally associated with the “liberal education” philosophy, at the core of the American higher education tradition. It is also clearly in keeping with the LDS Church emphasis on members as active, informed citizens.

The importance of faculty members modeling good citizenship is a common theme in campus conversations at BYU. For example, in his Annual University Conference address in 1994, Todd Britsch, Academic Vice President, stated, “I have a deep desire for [Brigham Young University] to be excellent, for everything about it to be exemplary. But as I have been forced by circumstances to think beyond football victories, academic prizes, important publications, or brilliant lectures, I have returned to the conviction that for BYU to be excellent, it must first be good. That is, we will never maintain or improve any important standard of academic achievement if we do not first attain the Lord’s standard of virtue….I am convinced that our value as a university is dependent upon our capacity to live together in charity.” Reflecting on this point, a BYU faculty member recently remarked, “BYU is what happens between you and me. It will become what it can become only because of what we do, and how we respond to what happens to us. Apart from us, there is no BYU to change.”

One way in which the teaching of good citizenship can be incorporated into most courses is through the medium of “service learning.” The objective of this pedagogy is to incorporate into the course design service activities that 1) foster a life-long commitment in students to community service, and 2) enhance students’ mastery of the course content through directed reflection following an appropriate service activity.

In comparison with the activities and services developed by the Faculty Center for faculty development of teaching and scholarship, our support for citizenship is less programmatic. Because there are nearly as many ways in which faculty citizenship is manifest as there are faculty citizens, our focus has been on fostering norms of collegiality. Given the oft-expressed lament that academics is an isolating occupation, we see the Faculty Center as a neutral, nurturing environment that provides opportunities for faculty to meet and to mingle, to learn and to contribute. This objective pervades all that we do, including new faculty seminars, topical "brown bags," workshops on scholarship, and teaching partnerships. We welcome conversations with faculty regarding their citizenship initiatives and we hope that all of our activities and programs promote an expansion of these conversations across campus.