We are a community of explorers, innovators, and doers.
We share a common goal to answer the enduring questions of the human condition. A vibrant civic debate and free democracy demand we seek a deep understanding of the many complex political, economic, social, and cultural issues that shape our society. And while our work offers important implications within the academy, we aim primarily for research, public service, and scholarship that will inform public discourse and contextualize the pressing issues of the day.
Through our Research and Public Service activities, we seek a deeper understanding of the human condition and the world in which we live. These questions have traditionally remained the purview of humanists and social scientists. But, particularly in our age of complexity, we seek the expertise of our colleagues from across the academy. We seek multi-disciplinary, innovative, and comprehensive approaches to major issues facing our communities and world, and we welcome investigation and exploration of our Research & Public Service Priorities as we work together to answer questions, accelerate discovery, and open new frontiers of human endeavor.
Georgia College’s intellectual capital—in the arts and letters, sciences and mathematics, economics and business, nursing and health sciences, and education and human development—can forge new intellectual partnerships. In short, we pledge to mobilize research and service for the public good.
The Power of the Public Square
We aim to demonstrate the power of the public square and to create spaces and opportunities for people to join together in dialogue.
All communities need places where they can come together. Whether around a village green or in a virtual forum, community life relies on joining with others to consider common goals, questions of mutual interest, and solutions to shared problems. Modeling civility in public discourse, we seek solutions that will combat disinformation and will overcome the atomization of our communities and of human society. We aim to reclaim the power of the public square and to create spaces and opportunities for people to join together in dialogue. To harness the power of the public square, through our research, teaching, and public service, we will:
- Investigate, analyze, and address pressing global challenges, particularly in a regional and local context.
- Restore the sacred position of the free press in a vibrant, informed democracy and promote innovations in media literacy that encourage citizens to read the newspaper and contribute meaningfully to public discourse.
- Promote civic literacy and combat polarization online and in digital spaces.
- Foster civic health and community resilience through inter-generational connections and mentorships.
Leadership as a Moral Enterprise
We embrace the ideal that leadership and public service are inherently civic principles, dedicated to the public good and to causes and ideals greater than oneself.
We believe that leadership is a moral enterprise—that morality, grounded in the care and consideration of others and in benevolent causes greater than oneself, should drive leaders and public servants. Much of our current conversation emphasizes leadership as a personal principle—that leaders can seek their own advancement and in turn serve the interests of their organizations or those in their charge. But too often, leaders make their decisions according to the imprecise or instrumental logic of expediency or, worse, pure careerism. And though those values are not exclusive of leadership as a moral enterprise, we seek innovative solutions that will hasten and support leadership and public service as more than utilitarian goods. We embrace the ideal that leadership and public service are inherently civic principles, dedicated to the public good and to causes and ideals greater than oneself. To promote leadership as a moral enterprise, through our research, teaching, and public service, we will:
- Pursue a more dynamic and influential presence within Georgia and within the academic community in mobilizing citizens for public service.
- Present leadership and public service, together, as a moral enterprise and redefine civic engagement as conscientious political, social, and moral engagement.
- Pursue solutions that address public challenges and examine and interpret policy questions not only through competition but also in non-rivalrous and anti-rivalrous contexts.
The Issues of Our Time
We believe we can both address the systemic causes of our contemporary anxieties and also equip a new generation to confront those challenges with honesty, earnestness, and resilience.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered a view of a better world—a future in which, in every corner of the world, peoples would enjoy freedom from fear. Now again, we live in an anxious age. From climate change and environmental degradation to political tribalism and degraded public discourse, many of us look to the future with a sense of misgiving. Through our research and public service, we believe we can both address the systemic causes of those fears and also equip a new generation to confront those challenges with honesty, earnestness, and resilience. To assert our freedom from fear, through our research, teaching, and public service, we will:
- Accelerate innovations that treat not only the symptoms of our contemporary challenges but address them in systematic ways.
- Forge dynamic partnerships that drive entrepreneurial approaches to solving contemporary challenges.
- Advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in our region and state and operationalize progress made toward achieving the UN 2030 Agenda.
- Operationalize organizational leadership and management that embody corporate social responsibility and that maximize long-term environmental, economic, and social value.
We will confront the current democratic deficit and political polarization by modeling trust within our communities and engendering trust within our institutions.
Democracy is more than an ideal; it is an action. But we are living in a time of democratic deficit and increased mistrust toward major democratic principles and institutions. A diverse and pluralist society requires constituent voice and citizen action, informed by reliable information and equal education, and refined through public deliberation and dialogue. Participatory democracy requires responsive and expert policy-making and transparent budgeting. Through our research and public service, we seek explorations of participatory democracy, including applications of democracy beyond government and law. We welcome approaches that demonstrate innovations in civil society, in business, and in public leadership. To promote engaged citizenship and participatory democracy, through our research, teaching, and public service, we will:
- Model civil discourse, convening disparate perspectives in the interest of showcasing democratic values and ideals.
- Mobilize Georgia College’s network and partnerships in a shared effort to provide leadership for the public good.
- Individually and collectively model how we each can function as contributing members of our communities and our society.
- Promote vibrant civic debate worthy of a great university.
We aim for research, service, and scholarship that will inform public discourse and contribute meaningfully to the public good. With a robust Research and Public Service agenda, we will:
- Convene experts and foster collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams to advance research and public service of consequence.
- Establish research and service networks, both within the university and among our friends and community partners.
- Capitalize on our current intellectual strengths and resources and align assets in support of our priorities.
- Provide outlets for publication—including scholarly works, essays for generalist audiences, briefings, podcasts, videos, and other media—showcasing Georgia College scholarship and achievement.
- Advance Georgia College’s distinctive excellence in leadership, citizenship, democracy, and public affairs, raising our regional and national profile.