Wye Academic Seminar

How do we foster civil discourse on campus about the most important questions facing our democracy?

In a longstanding collaboration with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, this seminar engages faculty, senior academic administrators, and college presidents in an exchange of ideas about education, citizenship, and the global polity. Sessions address the need for a liberal arts institution’s faculty and leadership to exchange ideas with colleagues from other colleges and disciplines while exploring the ideas and values that underlie their teaching. Modeled after the Aspen Executive Seminar and offered at the Institute’s Wye River campus near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the seminars focus on issues such as citizenship, civil dialogue, and the public purpose of education.

Each Wye Academic Seminar strives:

  • to gather a diverse group of thoughtful scholars in intellectually rigorous roundtable discussions – truly around the table to converse with rather than confront one another;
  • to explore great texts stretching from ancient to contemporary times, not merely for artistry of language but for the power of ideas on fundamental issues in our society, and;
  • to translate ideas into action suitable to the challenges of our age.

We encourage participation by professors representing a wide variety of disciplines. In past seminars, specialties have ranged from the classics, languages, history, drama, and philosophy, to economics, political science, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Past participants have emphasized the following outcomes and impact of their participation:

  • Personal and professional refreshment;
  • Deeper and broader knowledge of interdisciplinary approaches to classroom discussions;
  • Exposure to diverse academic and personal perspectives.

 An example of past curriculum can be found here.