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Ford Foundation Grant Launches Difficult Dialogue Campus Initiative

(April 7, 2006)

Provost and Executive Vice President Susan Herbst has announced the launch of an exciting pilot initiative on campus. The Ford Foundation selected the University at Albany from among 675 applicants in a national competition to promote pluralism and academic freedom on campus, and create a campus environment where "sensitive subjects can be discussed in a spirit of open scholarly inquiry, intellectual rigor, and with respect for different viewpoints."

The Difficult Dialogues Initiative seeks to nurture classroom environments that are vibrant and dynamic spaces where undergraduate students learn from difficult but civil dialogue. The project builds on the premise that dialogical engagement enables students to become thinkers who make informed judgments, responsible citizens who appreciate multiple perspectives, and conscientious members of a global and pluralistic community who celebrate diversity in all its forms.

The initiative will be administered by the Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, in collaboration with Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Sue Faerman.

For more information, contact center director Judith Saidel, Ph.D., at


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