The Faculty Forum
Vol. 9, No. 7 MARCH 1998
Keohane et. al. on Globalization & Democracy
Lawler et. al. on Duke Self-Study
Shepard on Curriculum Reform
McCardle on SANUS & Hospice Care
Poems by George Elliott Clarke
Letter from Robert Gleckner
Parrot: The Wheel of Fire
Globalization and Democratic Governance
We have reprinted below the complete text of the draft statement by the Provost's Task Force on Globalization and Democratic Governance. Professor Robert Keohane chairs this group, which invites participation from all faculty. Individuals with comments, suggestions and/or interest in participating may contact Elizabeth Station, the task force coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Markets, societies, and governments are becoming increasingly interdependent: policy outcomes within countries depend much more heavily than ever before (at least since 1914) on the policies of other states and of non-state actors such as multinational corporations, foreign exchange traders, and transnational issue advocacy networks. This process of "globalization" creates great opportunities for economic growth, by sweeping away inefficient and often corrupt statist political-economic systems. But it also poses a major challenge to democratic governments around the globe. How can contemporary democracies adapt to both the difficulties and opportunities posed by globalization? What features of globalization reinforce liberal democracy, and what elements of globalization pose difficulties for democratic ideals and democratic practice? Are the effects different in different areas of the world? Conversely, how do variations in governance affect globalization? What are the reciprocal effects of globalization and the domestic rule of law? How do the activities of non-democratic countries in global markets create challenges for democracies seeking to prosper economically but also to protect and promote their own values?
Duke University proposes to launch an initiative on globalization and democratic governance to address questions such as these. Unfortunately, "globalization" can be used to refer to almost any phenomenon, from the collapse of East Asian stock markets to pirating of Levi jeans in Russia or China. "Democracy" is almost as broad. We will therefore be careful in this project to clarify how we use these terms and to specify the processes with which we are concerned. We seek policy-relevant basic research. We emphasize research: we do not seek to set forth an ideology, echo a common orthodoxy, or engage in polemics. The result, we hope, will be findings that advance scholarly understanding of globalization and democratic governance; enhance the quality of public discourse on issues of globalization; help to improve policymaking by business and by governmental, nongovernmental, and intergovernmental organizations; and enhance Duke University's reputation as an institution making contributions to the public debate.
II. The Problem: Globalization and Democracy
"Globalization" refers to a process of greatly intensified movement of goods, services, capital, people, ideas and information across national boundaries; and to an increasingly complex organization of these flows, and interactions among them. Global capital markets, the internet, and increased flows of people migrants or not across national boundaries are reflections of contemporary globalization. So are the East Asian banking and financial crisis of 1997-98, and the attempts by major governments and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to contain it. Contemporary globalization has clear precedents: during the four decades before World War I forty percent of British savings were invested overseas; trade as a percentage of GDP was approximately the same as in 1973; and migration reached levels shortly thereafter that have not been recorded since. Nor are processes of globalization necessarily irreversible, as the closure of the world economy after World War I indicates.
Contemporary globalization poses profound challenges of adjustment to societies around the world, as well as unprecedented opportunities for regions, countries, and communities to engage the world economy in novel and potentially fruitful ways. It also creates challenges and opportunities for international institutions. Unregulated banking systems have often been unstable, particularly in countries where banking decisions have been politicized. International institutions such as the IMF have repeatedly sought to deal with the consequences of banking failures; but they run the risk of accentuating problems of moral hazard, insofar as their actions make bankers and their clients expect to be rescued if their investments go sour. When called on to provide funds to save the world financial system from collapse, governments are likely either to refuse or to demand more effective regulation to guarantee that their efforts will not simply create larger future crises as a result of such moral hazard.
Democracy is a form of government in which elites are accountable to broader publics through institutions, above all through elections, operating according to law. Democracies take many forms, and democratic practice never attains the ideal: accountability is always limited, by functional requirements for action, the role played in politics by unequal distributions of money and power, and by the self-interests of the elites themselves. We formulate the issues as those of globalization and democracy, not "democratization," since we are as concerned with established democracies as with fledgling ones, and we wish to avoid the progressive teleology that "democratization" sometimes connotes. We do not regard democracy as an ideal to which globalization must conform, but as a set of continually evolving practices that, however imperfectly, help to achieve some measure of accountability of elites to publics.
Globalization and democracy should both be seen as matters of degree rather than kind. A "globalized" world political economy is one in which the extent and depth of exchanges, and the operation of organizations, across national boundaries are very high by historical standards. "Democracy" connotes a set of governance practices that ensure a relatively high degree of accountability of elites to publics, compared to the range of actual governance arrangements observed in the modern world. To understand either phenomenon, we have to examine not just situations that are high on the dimensions of transnational exchange and accountability, but those that are low as well. A study of the relative closure of the world economy between 1914 and 1945 would be as relevant as an analysis of recent trends in globalization; so would an analysis of how variations in democratic institutions and in respect for the rule of law affect flows of capital to different countries.
This initiative is built around two major themes: 1) the mutual effects of globalization and democratic governance at the domestic level; and 2) the challenges that globalization creates for international institutions. All projects coming under the initiative will be related to at least one of these themes. However, we encourage a wide variety of styles of research, and there is no expectation that all aspects of any given project would focus on either of these issues. For example, the initiative could include an economic analysis of how variations in property rights law and practice affect decisions by East Asia corporations to issue equity capital. These variations in property rights law and practice are a reflection, surely, of different practices of democratic governance; and they affect patterns of globalization.
Every component of this initiative involves the relationship between globalization and democracy. But this relationship has many aspects, and can be studied from several distinct points of view. One image for our design is that of a house with a number of separate rooms, each conducive to a different type of vibrant activity and connected to each other by common spaces in which vigorous discussion can take place.
III. Theme 1. The Mutual Effects of Globalization and Democracy
Globalization affects the policies of governments, and domestic political institutions. Social democratic governments in Europe have had to abandon capital controls and open their economies in ways that they formerly resisted. Japan's electoral and party systems are affected by pressures from the United States and other countries on the traditional Japanese producer-centered and clientelistic political system. Most dramatically, the Soviet system collapsed, in part as a result of the Soviet economy becoming increasingly uncompetitive by being cut off from world market forces.
At the moment, East Asian banking systems, central to their own form of politicized capitalism, are being reformed, first due to market collapse, secondly as a result of IMF and U.S. pressure. In other words, the financial crisis is changing governance practices in Korea, Indonesia and Thailand and doing so in a way that is designed to increase accountability and transparency. Insofar as these reforms succeed in making these financial systems more responsive to the rule of law, they will establish a link between globalization and a greater degree of democratic governance.
As these examples indicate, globalization can promote democracy, although the process will be uneven and quite naturally dependent on traditions and available resources as it has been in the former Soviet Union. Globalization has had positive effects on democracy in some parts of Latin America, and may well do likewise in East Asia, although unpredictable crises are also part of the picture there. One instance of a positive effect of globalization on democracy concerns opportunities created by globalization for greater freedom of expression by members of the media in countries formerly under authoritarian rule. One possible project for this initiative would be to organize a study of democracy and the media that probed the limits and opportunities of a free press in rapidly changing and often threatening political conditions. Another possible effect of globalization on democracy would be to increase the durability of democratic governments by providing external supports for democracies in times of economic and political crisis. However, globalization can also put pressure on democratic institutions, especially if it leads the "losers" from globalization to make radical demands to recover their losses, or if bureaucracies grow faster, in response to new demands for government action, than legislatures or other bodies that can assure accountability.
Variations in patterns of democratic governance and the rule of law also affect globalization. Accountability of elites to their publics and the institutionalization of law combine to create a system in which economic practices have more predictable consequences and thereby political and economic risks are reduced. Corporations have to take into account these variations in democratic institutions and legal structures: they face very different legal systems in the jurisdictions in which they operate. Under what conditions do they differentiate their practices in labor relations, environmental protection, or corporate governance to adapt to these different conditions? Conversely, to what extent and on what issues do they standardize to one set of practices worldwide and how does such standardization, in turn, affect social and political practices in the host countries?
Two specific research projects under the theme of "mutual effects of globalization and democracy" have been formulated. The first concerns the democratic politics of economic interdependence; the second is about citizenship and migration.
The Democratic Politics of Economic Interdependence
Increasing economic globalization over the last twenty years, while generally promoting increased growth in the world economy, has also raised substantial concerns about its possible effects on the distribution of economic well-being -- understood as a combination of income and security in that income -- among nations and among the populations within nations. It should therefore come as no surprise that democratic elections and democratic governance are increasingly being affected by, and perhaps shaped by, globalization.
The economic payoffs to different assets resulting from the expansion of these markets can be calculated, and one could make inferences about the optimal strategies for governments in light of the implied tradeoffs. The difficulty is that democratic institutions also leave their mark. There are winners and losers from globalization. The losers may seek political redress for their declining condition: protection from the new market forces, political compensation, or politically-financed retraining or rehabilitation. Responding to such pressures, different governments may devise different strategies of adjustment.
Economic demands for adjustment and political resistance to it create an intimate encounter between political institutions and globalization. Two basic effects of this encounter can be identified. First, different types of democratic settings may lead individuals or groups who are similarly affected by globalization processes to align and to adopt political strategies to redress or further improve their situation. Second, differences in the institutions of democracy may affect the prospects that different kinds of groups will achieve political relief or advantage.
The consequences of these institutionally-mediated political struggles are significant both for growth and distribution. Four types of responses can be identified, each of which will have distinctive implications for other countries' policies, the maintenance of open markets, and the persistence of globalization itself: 1) traditional protection; 2) policies seeking the improvement of human capital; 3) "social insurance" for the losers; and 4) the awarding of politically enforced monopoly privileges to those whose market positions are temporarily strengthened by the globalization process. Reflecting on these consequences helps to identify three relevant research topics.
First, how do different democratic institutions affect the types of regulatory structures that are established and their effectiveness? Are different institutions better than others at overcoming problems of market failure? Which institutions promote or inhibit rent seeking and corruption? Does the presence of more autonomous central banks lead to more effective responses to changing economic conditions outside the nation? In other words, are some forms of democracy more conducive than others for growth in a globalized economy?
Secondly, how do political institutions and politics, especially in democracies, mediate between global forces and national publics? For example, do democracies promote lesser or greater disparities in the distribution of income and wealth than autocracies? Are some forms of democratic politics more or less redistributive than others? What are the consequences of different income distributions for social cohesion?
Finally, how are democratic political systems affected by globalization, and how do they adapt? Do some systems encourage politicians to appeal for support by countering globalization (as, for example, Perot's 1992 presidential campaign opposing NAFTA)? Do global realities lead to changes in governing forces, such as coalitions and party dynamics (as, for example, in generating new inter-party coalitions, such as in the U.S. over the NAFTA and GATT treaties and fast-track legislation)? In short, how is increased exposure to international finance and trade affecting democratic partisan and electoral competition, and what are the potential consequences for democratic values?
Citizenship and Migration
The conventional model of national citizenship -- denoting a territorially bounded community of individual members within a single polity -- is increasingly challenged by globalization. New modes of belonging, new forms of social membership and new styles of participation are presenting alternatives to this nineteenth century model. National citizenship is no longer the sole purveyor of political access, rights, and duties.
We can imagine at least two ways in which the relationship between membership and democracy might be reconfigured in the era of globalization: 1) a direct effect in which new forms of transnational and local memberships create new players and avenues for participation that alter the operation of existing forms of democratic politics without necessarily changing the nation-state form; and 2) an indirect effect in which new notions of membership alter the nation-state itself and in doing so re-configure the very meaning and constitution of democracy and democratic practices.
One very clear example of a direct effect of globalization on democracy is the increasing importance of diaspora membership -- or membership in a transnational community of descent. To what extent might diaspora membership strengthen or undermine domestic democratic arrangements? What, for instance, should we make of the ability of the South Asian community in the U.S. to mobilize opposition to the building of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in India and the fact that they ultimately succeeded in ending World Bank funding for the project? Is the influence of diaspora communities on U.S. foreign policy growing, as might be suggested by the significant role played by Trans-Africa, Randall Robinson's African-American lobbying group, in pressing the U.S. to restore democratic rule in Haiti? Under what circumstances are states amenable to being influenced by broader notions of who constitutes their people, as might be examined in the current Mexican government's effort to create the "Mexican Global Nation" through policies such as dual citizenship? Are these all examples of increasing trust and solidarity that give voice to previously marginalized communities? Or should we worry that diaspora politics are anti-democratic, offering yet more opportunities for elite influence and undermining broader participatory avenues? More broadly, in addressing these questions we find insight into the general relationship between the development of a transnational networks of non-governmental organizations and the broader development of global civil society.
The organization of democratic politics is also being affected indirectly by globalization through changes in the meaning of membership that re-configure the basic structure of the nation-state. While it has become fashionable to herald the end of the nation-state, the reality seems more complex. Indeed, we can imagine a number of different configurations of identity and political organization, each of which would have different implications for nations peoples with a sense of common identity and for states. One possibility is that new group memberships, as referred to above, may serve to undermine the identification of individuals with the nation, but nevertheless leave the state, as an organization, intact or even stronger, partly in an attempt to contain centrifugal tendencies. One could also imagine attempts to strengthen feelings of national identification: not to accept multiple affiliations but to demand exclusive membership in the national group. Finally, new senses of identification may create increased outlets and opportunities for sub-national communities to make claims ranging from local autonomy to secession, leaving states stronger or weaker depending on their abilities to accommodate these demands without destroying central authority. These different configurations of national identity and state organization would have very different implications for democratic membership and participation. They and others that could be imagined warrant empirical investigation.
IV. Theme 2. Rethinking the Role of International Institutions
That globalization puts new pressures on international institutions is obvious from the recent experience of the IMF. Maverick financiers such as George Soros call for more extensive international regulation; critics such as Jeffrey Sachs demand different macroeconomic policies and more openness; other commentators, whose views resonate in the U.S. Congress, question whether IMF-led bailouts are a good idea at all. The existence of such diverse views by intelligent observers suggests that systematic study of the functions of international institutions, and how their roles should be performed, would be valuable.
The question of how international institutions should operate has many facets. It would be worthwhile to examine institutions such as the United Nations, GATT and the World Bank. So far, we have identified two specific topics for research. One, of particular interest to economists and experts in related fields, concerns the design of optimal financial policy for international agencies. The other, of special concern to political scientists, legal specialists, and democratic theorists, concerns how international institutions are governed. International institutions have what in Europe is known as a "democratic deficit." For better or for worse and there are arguments on both sides the world is moving toward increased global governance, but without effective democratic control.
Designing Optimal Financial Policy
The unprecedented globalization of securities markets, and the increased volatility of international capital flows associated with it, have caused major economic crises that have surprised both researchers and policy-makers. The mechanisms by which globalization has contributed to causing the crises and transmitting them across countries are poorly understood, and hence the policies that have been implemented to address these crises are still very controversial and open for debate. Yet, the urgency of recent developments challenge social scientists to develop a framework for understanding financial globalization and its effects, and for designing optimal financial policies. There is, therefore, a critical need for empirical and theoretical research in this area.
The agenda of research in this area can be divided into three questions, each of which needs to be explored from both the positive and normative perspectives. First, what is the process linking a global capital market to the increased vulnerability of an economy to a speculative attack on its currency? Second, what determines whether this increased vulnerability actually translates into a financial crash? Third, why do financial crashes trigger deep economic crises in the real sector and how are these crises transmitted from one country to another?
The answers to these questions are key for the design of optimal financial policies. For example, if, as some research finds, financial capital flows are becoming more critical as triggers of crises than the traditional culprits of fiscal or trade deficits, central banks and financial institutions ought to focus much more on "early warning" indicators that emerge from the financial sector. In this same vein, bank supervision and the rules governing the financial system seem to take a new and important role in stabilization policy. Another key example is the need to determine whether we need a gigantic world financial agent or none at all. This is to say, if, as some research proposes, these crises have in part a self-fulfilling component, then an IMF with greatly expanded resources and the ability to move quickly and swiftly is the best response. If, as other research suggests, the crises may be driven by perverse moral hazard effects, a giant IMF is a reward for bad behavior and we are prone to see more of it. Clearly, the two policy responses are contradictory. Adopting either without further theoretical understanding and empirical evidence of actual crises would be a grave mistake, since ill-conceived policies could jeopardize both economic welfare and democratic governance.
The "Democratic Deficit"
The question of a "democratic deficit" raises empirical and normative issues, and questions of policy. We consider these in turn.
We know something about how democracy affects policy at the national level. Democracies fight each other much less than would be predicted by chance, and when they fight wars, they tend to win them. They also tend to trade more freely with one another than do autocracies. However, the effects of democracy on economic development, and on income distribution, are more ambiguous: there is considerable variation. Different democracies have very different records in both respects. For instance, social democratic corporatism in Europe has been associated with greater equality of incomes, but also with higher inflation, than is found in countries with more market-driven policies and less encompassing trade unions. Democratic countries with different institutions are likely to react differently to globalization, politically and economically.
At the international level, we know much less. International institutions have typically been less powerful than national governments and the policy outcomes of their actions are more difficult to establish. It is often not clear what to attribute to the international organization, and what to other factors, including the policies of major governments. Hence what we want to explain variations in policy outcomes is less clear at the international level than cross-nationally. At the same time, there has been less variation in the practice of democracy across international institutions than across states. International institutions have typically paid lip service to democracy since most of them are chiefly supported by states with democratic domestic institutions but as noted above, the international institutions themselves are not particularly democratic.
Another reason, however, that we know less at the international than the domestic level is that few scholars have devoted attention to this issue. There may well be more variation across institutions in democratic practice than we are aware of. Real or potential variations in democratic practice could have significant implications for policy, which we might be able to investigate by exploring analogous processes with domestic societies.
To those who are both internationalists and believers in democratic control, the prospect of increased global regulation with a continuing democratic deficit generates alarm or ambivalence. From the standpoint of democratic theory, it may seem self-evident that international institutions, like national ones, should be subject to institutional checks that guarantee accountability to publics. More broadly, transnational civil society may seem capable of rendering social relationships more democratic in an increasingly globalized world society. Issue advocacy groups can mobilize for women's rights or global environmental protection, thus arguably reinforcing democratic values and practices in societies formerly dominated by narrow elites imposing repressive practices.
It can be argued, however, that democratic governance is not always desirable. For example, contemporary democratic governments have sought to insulate key financial regulatory institutions (such as the United States Federal Reserve Board) from popular pressure. A large literature has shown that independent central banks tend to be associated with more successful macroeconomic policy than banks that are subservient to governments. Prompt and decisive action is frequently needed from financial regulators to stop financial panics, as in the 1987 U.S. market crash or the financial crises in Mexico and East Asia during this decade. If national central banks should be insulated from politics, this line of argument may also apply to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). With respect to transnational social movements, one group's progressive agenda can be viewed by another as cultural imperialism.
One way to think about the governance problem is to reflect
on what practices of democratic governance are appropriate under what conditions.
Three types of democratic governance can be distinguished: a world state,
formed on the model of national democracies; a supranational confederation;
and a set of transnational networks. Few people think a world state feasible,
much less a liberal-democratic world state, given the diversity of values
in the world's population. The key institutional device of supranational
governance (as in the European Union) is delegation: by publics to legislatures,
by legislatures to executives, by executives to their negotiators in the
Council of Ministers, by the Council of Ministers to the Commission. Accountability
is lost at every step of the way, especially in the Council of Ministers,
due to its opaque procedures and the inability of an outsider to assign
responsibility for the various elements of the compromises that emerge
from its "black box." Since European countries are
much more democratic than most societies today, it is difficult to imagine that global regulatory institutions would be more democratic than the institutions of the contemporary EU. Hence it seems unlikely that supranationalism would lead to democratic institutions on a world scale.
The European experience, however, seems encouraging for the third model, which relies on networks of individuals and nongovernmental associations seeking to affect public policy. Formal European institutions have fostered hundreds of nongovernmental associations and networks. Elements of such a transnational society are developing rapidly today, as the dramatic fall in the cost of communicating over large distances facilitates the rapid growth of transnational (nongovernmental) networks among people in different countries. In this third conception, democracy would depend on the monitoring of policy actions by communities of scientists, networks of activists, coalitions of interest groups all linked by modern information technology. Accountability would be ensured less by chains of official responsibility than by the requirement of transparency. Whether accountability would extend beyond these networked elites to broader publics, however, remains an open question. Most transnational lawmaking does not fit our traditional model of lawmaking in a democracy.
Implications for Analysis and Policy
As the previous paragraphs indicate, the relationship between globalization and democracy can be viewed in different ways. Empirical study of globalization and international regulation should be undertaken to help U.S. understand practices that involve both formal delegation and transnational networks (in the European Union, but also in NAFTA and other international institutions). A central question addressed by this work would ask about the impact of specific international governance practices on the effectiveness of policy responses to globalization. Such work would be explicitly comparative, looking at a variety of practices through a common analytic framework. Political scientists, economists, and students of law and organization could work together and separately on these issues.
The policy relevance of research that would answer this question is obvious. Such research could increase the range of options subjected to normative analysis and considered by policymakers, and facilitate an assessment of tradeoffs, if any, between democratic governance and efficient management of globalization. It would certainly help to refine critiques of how the IMF and other international institutions operate, and perhaps lead to governance arrangements that enable these agencies to act effectively while providing heightened accountability to publics. In short, understanding better the strengths and weaknesses of different types of institutional arrangements would facilitate the design of appropriate institutions for a globalized world.
V. The Institutional Context
Where did the idea for this project originate? In part, it grew out of a sense that Duke needed to deepen its efforts to become a truly international university, by drawing upon resources that we already possess. While individual faculty and many schools and programs have become remarkably international in their outlook and aspirations, as an institution Duke has not systematically attempted to join together people and projects in a common endeavor. A number of broad areas of inter-disciplinary collaboration -- health policy, the environment, and democratic institutions, among others -- seemed ripe for exploration. In late 1997, the deans of the School of Law, the Fuqua School and Arts and Sciences suggested that the Provost convene a small working group of faculty to examine whether Duke might initiate a multi-disciplinary project on democracy and democratic institutions and if so, to explore what intellectual shape it might take.
Pamela Gann, writing on behalf of the three deans, noted that such an initiative could bring together a rich array of resources that already exist in various parts of the university, but especially in art and sciences, business and law. In many ways, Duke is uniquely positioned to contribute to an international dialogue on globalization and democracy. In Arts and Sciences, individual faculty research and teaching have always been international. More recent inter-disciplinary endeavors include those which propose to expand foreign language teaching to include a focus on culture, to look at the impact of globalization on equity, and to provide new paradigms for area studies. At the School of Law, the faculty includes internationally recognized experts in the areas of constitutional law and democratic institutions. At Fuqua, international perspectives are integrated throughout the curriculum and members of the faculty regularly travel, teach and conduct research on relevant topics.
For the deans, the question was whether Duke could and should draw upon these remarkable, but disparate, efforts to launch a university-wide initiative on democratization. They recommended a group of faculty members that they believed would be critical to a thoughtful discussion of the question, and suggested that Professor Robert Keohane of Political Science serve as chair. In its first meeting, the group agreed that if such an initiative is to engage faculty and positively shape Duke as an institution, it must succeed in meeting three key objectives. First, the project should serve as a vehicle for new, inter-disciplinary research that connects faculty in different departments and schools through a series of linked, collective projects. Second, the project activities should help to internationalize undergraduate teaching, and in so doing better prepare Duke graduates for global work and citizenship. Third and finally, the initiative should raise Duke's profile as an institution in which new and compelling ideas about globalization and democracy are being developed and articulated. It could do so by tapping our existing network of contacts around the country and the world, and by expanding this network to include new collaborators.
In what ways might we witness these goals being met? Many exciting examples have come to mind as the group began to discuss the possibilities:
· Three distinguished faculty -- from Duke Law School, Political Science, and Fuqua -- jointly publish a scholarly article on the impact of variations in the transparency of regulatory institutions in East Asian countries on covered interest rate differentials among them. Their paper leads to an op-ed piece pointing out the importance of regulatory reform for economic development. The same group also writes a thoughtful article for The Atlantic Monthly on the subject.
· Students in a seminar on democracy and the media invite newspaper publishers and reporters from Eastern Europe and Latin America to their class to probe the limits and opportunities that face a free press in rapidly changing and often threatening political conditions. These guest speakers "attend" class through teleconferences, but they know their audience well since each has spent time at Duke as a visiting media fellow in the Sanford Institute of Public Policy.
· In an Asian country, an IMF program is widely criticized as harming democratic institutions when the government suspends civil liberties in the wake of popular protest. As the crisis brews, the U.S. media call upon Duke faculty to comment. Direct satellite hook-ups to CNN and other media allow interviews to be transmitted from Durham live on several prominent news programs.
VI. The Proposal
At this stage, we propose that endowment support totaling $10 to $20 million support an innovative set of international and transnational initiatives at Duke, of which a project on "Globalization and Democracy" would be a major component. The themes and activities suggested for this project might serve as the centerpiece, but certainly not the only piece, of a broad strategy to raise funds for internationalization at Duke.
To fully explore the themes outlined in this draft statement for a proposal, the participants would use project funds to undertake a variety of activities. Some of the activities listed below are traditional; others would aspire to be more innovative in their use of technology. [Certainly this list is tentative, and we welcome additional suggestions.]
· Faculty research. The project would make available small research grants for faculty to travel and conduct research related to the project themes. Awards would be made, and renewed, on an annual basis.
· Graduate and post-doctoral fellowships. Several would be awarded each year in any school or department, for graduate students and fellows proposing to conduct new research on topics related to globalization and democracy.
· Visiting international faculty. Visiting faculty would spend a semester, a year, or more at Duke teaching new courses on themes related to the project -- thus giving the project an impact at the undergraduate level.
· International conferences. On an annual basis, Duke would host a high-profile international conference to bring scholars and policy-makers to campus for exploration of timely themes.
· Telecommunications capacity-building. Duke would upgrade and/or acquire the library resources, technology and trained staff which it would need to link this project to the world. Ideally, we would like the project to help make teleconferences a routine part of undergraduate teaching (by allowing instructors to invite "virtual guests" to the classroom more easily). Also, appropriate technology would link our faculty to the television news media and televised public affairs programs, raising Duke's profile as a contributor to public debate.
· Summer Institutes. Two-to-four week programs in the summer, held at Duke and elsewhere, would allow distinguished participants from academia, the private sector, government and other sectors to explore themes of mutual interest.
· Visiting Executive Program. Prominent private sector leaders, in residence at Duke for varying periods, would share their experiences in the classroom and provide input to the project as a whole.
Participants and Structure
At this writing, the core group of faculty involved in
this initiative includes roughly 15 scholars from the Schools of Law, Business
and Arts and Sciences at Duke. They share an intellectual interest in the
themes under discussion; in addition, those who will continue to steer the project beyond this initial phase have committed to actively leading research programs that would fall under the "broad umbrella" of globalization and democracy. Several members of the group have written short "think-pieces" to guide discussion and outline directions for future research.
So far, the group has met four times in informal seminars. These seminars will continue during the spring semester. We welcome the opportunity to expand the group to include more faculty members. Those interested should be willing to propose additional topics for study or contribute to those already suggested. In addition, participants should be willing to lead research projects that would be part of the initiative.
Once funding for the project becomes available, we also wish to extend it to a wider circle of collaborators beyond Duke which would include colleagues from the other Triangle universities, as well as universities and research institutions throughout the U.S. and the world. Such connections will be critical to the project's success at every level.
The Office of the Provost, through the Vice Provost for Academic and International Affairs, will continue to provide oversight for the project and help to connect it to potential collaborators and sources of funding. In no way would this project seek to duplicate or replace research currently underway at Duke. On the contrary, it would seek a complementary and synergistic relationship to projects such as the "Oceans Connect," "Globalization and Equity," and other initiatives. At every phase, we seek to learn from successful efforts in Arts and Sciences and the professional schools, the latter of which have been especially innovative in their attempts to internationalize. Two potential models for some of the project activities include the Law School's Summer Institutes in Transnational Law and Fuqua's Global Executive MBA program, which use multiple international program sites and advanced interactive technologies.
Internationalization at Duke is an ongoing process of which the "Globalization and Democracy" project would be one component. It is highly desirable that the project be evaluated at the end of its first five years by a committee chaired by the Provost, which would include both Duke participants and outside faculty. At that time a decision should be taken about whether the initiative should continue along its original lines or shift its focus to include other topics or activities.
To launch this initiative, we expect to request endowment support totaling $10 to $20 million, which would generate an annual income of $500,000 to $1 million to underwrite various activities. Annual budgets could pay for the activities described in Section IV of this document, among others. Fundraising for the endowment monies would take place under the auspices of the current Capital Campaign. Our goal is to interest one or more individual donors in making a "major transforming gift" to endow the project. Ideally, potential donors would combine an active interest in Duke with equally strong interest and expertise in international politics and finance.
Foundations could also be approached to provide seed money or complementary support for project activities.
VIII. Next Steps
In the coming weeks, a brief summary of this draft statement will be circulated broadly to as many Duke faculty as possible in order to assess the level of interest in participation beyond the current core group. The Provost has requested that we submit to him a report with our recommendations for action on the project no later than March 31, 1998.
If a decision is made to move forward with the project, we will request that the Provost approve its inclusion in the forthcoming Capital Campaign. The Development Office would also begin to approach individual donors and give clearance for us to take the project to foundations. Depending upon donor interest, project activities could commence during the 1998-99 academic year.
VIII. Task Force Members
Robert Keohane, Chair (Political Science)
Rex Adams, Dean (Fuqua School)
William Chafe, Dean (Arts and Sciences)
Pamela Gann, Dean (Law School)
Bruce Kuniholm (Vice Provost for Academic and International Affairs)
John Aldrich (Political Science)
Herbert Bernstein (Law School)
Walter Dellinger (Law School)
Donald Horowitz (Law School)
Deborah Jakubs (Library)
Elizabeth Kiss (Kenan Ethics Program)
Peter Lange (Political Science)
Allan Lind (Fuqua School)
Wes Magat (Fuqua School)
Enrique Mendoza (Economics)
Ellen Mickiewicz (Public Policy)
Noah Pickus (Public Policy)
Chris Schroeder (Law School)
Suzanne Shanahan (Sociology)
Gustavo Vega-Canovas (North American Studies)
Please send responses to:
Special Assistant to Professor Keohane and to
the Vice Provost for Academic and International Affairs
Duke University Self-Study Report
For Reaffirmation of Accreditation by the Commission on Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
EdNote: Below is the summary of the self-study report along with one excerpt on the use of graduate students as teachers. Full copies of the report can be found at the Web site:http://www.duke.edu/web/acouncil/REPORT.htm
BALANCING THE ROLES OF THE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY
PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Recognizing the need for balance and integration in the curriculum, the committee recommends that all areas of knowledge be required for the baccalaureate degree; that the current review of the undergraduate curriculum consider how a core, fixed or flexible, might be designed for Duke's purposes; and that a serious look be taken at preprofessionalism at Duke to see what the term means and how compatible it is with the emphasis on liberal education.
Recognizing the desirability of maximizing the opportunities that accrue to undergraduates from being in a research university, the committee recommends that more undergraduates be involved in research, but not only in independent projects; that the capstone course concept be extended and that it center on the epistemology of a field and the process of research that typifies it; that graduate students be used more creatively in this endeavor.
Recognizing the resource that graduate students constitute, the committee recommends that when faculty positions are added, the cost of support for additional graduate students be factored in along with the faculty salary and research support; that graduate students might be utilized more creatively than at present, as in the running of small tutorials, serving as advisors or assistant advisors for senior theses and independent studies; that graduate students who desire teaching experience be given the opportunity, and that every Ph.D. program be required to present a statement on its teacher training goals which would assess the current classroom uses of graduate students, discuss the role of teaching in the discipline, and outline how the program will train its graduate students as teachers; that TA support funds be restructured systemwide, in the context of the overall funding objectives of the Graduate School.
Recognizing the importance of enhancing our students' writing skills, recognizing the centrality of writing instruction to the undergraduate curriculum and the employment of graduate students, and recognizing that this instruction has been problematic on both fronts, the committee recommends that, while a writing course should continue to be a general requirement for all first year students, the current course should not be the model for most of them, but instead should be replaced by first year subject-related seminars with extensive writing components; that the financial resources for these courses be distributed as part of the graduate awards budget and that the departments select the instructors for this course; that a writing center be established for all members of the university community.
Recognizing that the rationale for Ph.D. programs has come into question nation wide, the committee recommends that we introduce some balance in doctoral training between the concrete and often narrow focus rooted in a specific research problem and the breadth needed for both creative scholarship and the challenges of a more diversified job market; that dissertation fellowships be created to assist completion of degrees; that Duke strive to bring its graduate programs up to a comparable reputational level with the undergraduate college(s) and professional schools, by means of faculty enhancement and improvement of student support levels.
Recognizing that faculty are the balancing points of the institution -- that is, how they balance their time among research, teaching, and service in large part dictates the nature of the education our students receive and that faculty, like other professionals in modern society, are feeling enormous pressures to achieve on many fronts, the committee recommends that data be developed to assist in determining how workloads are defined, assessed, and compensated across departments; that our system of faculty rewards be examined with an eye toward three objectives: (1) relief or support for faculty members on whom demands are unreasonably high, or such that their ability to perform all of their functions is impaired; (2) creation of meaningful incentives for other faculty who currently do too little research, service, or teaching; and (3) recognition of the full array of contributions in research, teaching, and service that all faculty are making or might potentially make.
Recognizing that the age of the university data systems and the dispersion and inconsistency of institutional data bases are hindrances to systematic evaluation of many campus issues, we recommend that integrated data banks and information analysis be a high priority in terms of systems development, hardware, and human resources.
[EdNote: The following segment of the Self-Study has been selected for reprinting here because it affects several very large campus constituencies.]
E. The role played by graduate students in instruction
In a college, all teaching is done by regular or adjunct faculty. In a university department lacking a graduate program, the regular faculty is similarly likely to be heavily complemented by non-regular-rank faculty. In a research university, TAs are a versatile and flexible intermediate corps. Whereas department faculty numbers cannot expand and shrink proportionately to the frequent swings in undergraduate enrollments or majors, adjustment of the TA corps is the most efficient way of responding to fluctuating demands. We return to this point when considering graduate student support in section IV.D below.
TAs do not just "replace" faculty: they supplement or assist faculty in training undergraduates and thus extend faculty effectiveness, freeing them for more research and other, particularly more advanced, kinds of teaching. The sections or labs which they cover in large courses provide undergraduates with a forum for discussing and using the concepts and techniques learned in class; the time they spare the faculty through tasks such as routine grading or monitoring may allow for more course preparation or quicker turnaround time on papers and exams.
In other words, besides the fact that use of TAs is a necessity in this type of university, there are many benefits in the trade-offs. Given that we admit graduate students even more selectively (20%) than we do our undergraduates (30%), it is not surprising that they are a remarkable resource for those undergraduates; and even when they substitute for faculty, something is gained in terms of the kind of experience they bring. Graduate students are closer in age to the undergraduates, sometimes easier to relate to, usually enthusiastic about teaching, and open to new approaches to an old problem. They help renew teaching by contributing innovative pedagogical approaches, sometimes via suggestions to faculty or via their own success with an approach of their own. They are likely to be more in touch with the language and events that figure prominently in undergraduates' lives, which allows for the easier "translation" of difficult concepts. Their enthusiasm for learning can be contagious; because they are actively involved in enterprises that press outward at the frontiers of knowledge, they help bring cutting-edge research to the undergraduates. As President Keohane recently wrote on these same points,
"The intellectual capital that is represented in our graduate student bodies is probably the most widely underutilized resource of the research university. This claim will no doubt come as a surprise to parents of our undergraduates who often express their concern about the number of courses taught by graduate students rather than regular faculty. We have to make a better case for this resource, for the unique instructional skills and knowledge of our graduate students.... We need to point out that because they are closer to undergraduates in age and cultural experience, graduate students are sometimes best at finding the crucial connections that make subjects come alive and spark a lifelong interest in a particular discipline. And we need to demonstrate that our graduate students are professionals: that the fact that they have chosen this path already marks them as possessing certain skills and interests." (footnote 1)
We do not think this is hyperbole; but as President Keohane says, the case has not always been persuasively presented, either to parents or the public.
The university should acknowledge and value the positive contribution made by well trained and well motivated TAs to the undergraduate experience. There is every evidence that graduate student teaching is quite good when they are teaching what they want to teach and have good training: notable examples are biology, math, and foreign languages. It follows that such training should be much more systematic across the board, and at the same time field-specific -- that is, not just "the art of teaching" in the abstract.
The opportunity to acquire teaching experience
It is a fact that TAs represent a pool of relatively inexpensive labor for the Arts & Sciences undergraduate teaching budget. We give them low remuneration (as medical schools do with underpaid interns) on the theory that the teaching is part of their education. And this is a reasonable argument, provided it is defensible educationally.
The part played by teaching varies enormously among programs. In most of the humanities and social sciences as well as mathematics, teaching by graduate students has always been the norm, in large part because it accounts for a substantial amount of the available financial support; it is also natural given that a large number of these students are planning academic careers. In the natural sciences, in contrast, most funding comes from research grants, and teaching is often viewed as unrewarding labor. Graduate students who have the fewest teaching opportunities are in science or engineering, or in schools like business and medicine that do little undergraduate teaching; moreover, the percentage of these students who will pursue academic careers entailing a significant teaching component is smaller than in the humanities and social sciences. There are nonetheless a sizable number of students in these areas for whom teaching experience would be valuable, and we have found that there are a number of them who would like to have teaching experience who have not been able to, generally because their department does not traditionally support students through teaching.
Acquiring teaching experience requires a trade-off in terms of increased amount of time spent away from course work or research. Teaching "interferes" with graduate students' progress towards the PhD only when it appears extraneous; when they see it as an integral part of that degree, and when it is, teaching assistants do not usually object to their teaching loads. However, there are some particular cases where course responsibilities do conflict with the students' other responsibilities. This problem seems to have been more acute in the UWC program, in which TAs informally report working up to thirty hours a week grading and preparing. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some students actively avoid teaching this course even if it entails some difficulty in locating another source of funding. Teaching any course on one's own, to be sure, normally requires more time than merely assisting, but the problem does appear more pronounced in UWC than elsewhere.
In keeping with the principle that teacher training is a part of the PhD program, we propose that all graduate students who desire teaching experience should be provided the opportunity to acquire it. Given that graduate stipends are often tied to departmental service through teaching assistantships, efforts should be made to match the type of teaching to the needs and wishes of the students as much as possible. Some programs, such as those in the medical and engineering schools, currently have few or no teaching assistantships at their disposal, and support their students instead through research grants. Such programs might need to establish links to affiliate programs for the purpose of providing teacher training: they must not only find places in the teaching structure for their graduate students who desire such experiences but also foster an atmosphere in which teaching and learning about teaching are valued. Such changes need to be made in close consultation with related departments so they do not simply result in increased competition for scarce teaching slots.
Because teaching experience is not equally critical or important for all students, we stress only the right to apprentice teach and do not propose making it a requirement. Many of the students in the departments that have limited opportunities do not themselves have a great interest in teaching, and some who manifest a little interest are not willing to make a commitment for a 14-week class. But it is important that faculty in those programs not resist the idea of their students' teaching, as they now sometimes do. As most of those students who have no teaching responsibilities now are fully supported, we are not necessarily suggesting that those who choose to teach be given additional compensation, but rather that their duties be arranged so that time can be devoted to teaching. Consideration will have to be given to its timing with regard to research in the latter phases of the PhD program.
The imperative for teacher training
It is essential, along with the proposed policy regarding teaching opportunities for graduate students, that we take teacher-training of graduate students equally seriously. If we fail to take the time to train them before they enter the classroom as either teachers or assistants, we risk doing them and the undergraduate students a disservice. In the words of President Keohane, "We need to be able to say honestly and definitively to the parents of our undergraduates that the education we are offering their sons and daughters is enhanced, not hindered, by graduate TAs, that these young colleagues offer their children the very best of professional role models" (footnote 2). While some aspects of teaching (such as poise, use of teaching supplements, sensing the class atmosphere) are learned mostly through experience, tasks like writing and grading effectively, syllabus construction, and leading a discussion can and should be taught systematically. Given the vast combined experience of university faculty, there is no reason to allow the trial-and-error method to remain the primary mode of teacher apprenticeship. Too often PhDs who go on to academic positions have to learn how to teach from scratch on the job. The teaching experience and training they acquire during their graduate work can make it easier for them to settle into their new positions and so proceed more efficiently with their subsequent research.
The primary responsibility for training of graduate students for teaching undergraduates must fall to individual departments. They have differing needs with respect to the kinds of teaching they call upon graduate students to do, and teaching in general plays very different roles in the career lines of various disciplines. Further, the course material taught presents discipline-specific pedagogic problems (teaching photosynthesis little resembles teaching political inequality). For these reasons, the necessary form and content of graduate training will be different across departments.
Currently the teacher training that occurs at Duke is more often than not sporadic. A few curricula, as those in Mathematics, Romance Studies, and English, incorporate methodical training programs; the UWC also depends upon specific pedagogical initiation. Other programs give TA training little thought. We propose that all graduate programs be required to present a statement on their teacher training goals which would assess the current classroom uses of graduate students, and the role of teaching in the discipline, as well as outline how the program will train its graduate students as teachers. In so doing they will of necessity become acquainted with the resources available for training our students as teachers, and should be answerable for how they intend to use them. Programs should make use of the important resource represented by the Center for Teaching and Learning, already much involved in TA training, which can advise and assist departments in creating teaching symposia.
In addition to training prior to entering the classroom, sustained oversight and coaching should be maintained throughout the teaching experience. Faculty members who are skeptical that "teaching" can be taught might think of it rather as mentoring, discussing course design, syllabi, exams, appropriate conduct, and the like with their graduate students in order to show not only the fundamentals of course construction, but also the underlying philosophy of teaching which these materials embody. An analogy might be to artists or musicians learning from one another at a conservatory. There should be faculty members who sit in on lectures or sections given by their graduate students in order to provide feedback. In addition to helping the students refine their techniques, this procedure also provides the faculty member with concrete information about the graduate students' teaching capability, desire, and commitment, which is important to the writing of recommendations for them.
Varieties of graduate teaching experience
Not all teaching opportunities are the same, nor can they be. TA assignments vary from teaching assistantships, which may include grading homework and exams, holding recitations, running labs, and even giving occasional lectures, to entire responsibility for a course. Variations in teaching assistantships often depend on the department, type of class, instructor, and the background of the individual. As a general rule, the more interaction that the graduate student has with the undergraduates, the more valuable the experience for that person. Practically, it is neither possible nor desirable for all graduate students to teach their own independent courses, but the teaching associated with discussion sections, labs and especially so-called "grading TAs," while more prevalent, does not always allow much development of autonomy or responsibility. In the best of circumstances, there would be an evolution in teaching experiences as the students progress through their graduate training. Students who begin as TAs, mentored by the faculty member teaching the course, then are prepared to move on to teach courses entailing greater autonomy.
The university could afford to be more experimental in allowing graduate students to teach their own courses. Advanced graduate students have a close relationship with current research, and may even possess expertise in areas which are complementary to that of the department's faculty: they could offer interesting new courses as well as filling in gaps in the course offerings on relatively short notice. Such a model already exists in the English and Literature 20-series. When graduate students teach independent courses, these should be vetted and to some extent still be overseen. The Named Instructorship program, which rewards some of the best finishing graduate students with the right to teach a fairly advanced undergraduate course, might well be expanded. In fact, the intellectual capital of graduate students is underutilized.
What is needed is creative thinking about new means and combinations: for example, graduate students might regularly run small tutorials, and expand their roles as advisors or assistant advisors for senior theses and independent studies. This option would provide graduate students with a mentoring experience while increasing the number of guided studies available to undergraduates; outside of the regular classroom, as an example, graduate students might be able, given appropriate funding, to contribute to house courses. Another example: since it takes time to supervise honors theses and other senior papers, is there not a possible role there for advanced graduate students, providing help to both faculty and undergraduates? Such graduate student participation would help increase the number of senior independent research projects.
1. Keohane, Nannerl O., "Report from Duke University to the AAU Committee on Graduate Education task force on institutional policies governing graduate education," 6 March 1997, p.3
2. Nannerl O. Keohane, "Report," p.4.
SELF-STUDY STEERING COMMITTEE
James R. Bettman Fuqua School of Business
Mary T. Boatwright Classical Studies
Richard di Giulio Nicholas School of Environ.
Valeria Finucci Romance Studies
Michael Gillespie Political Science
Emily Klein Geology
Gregory F. Lawler Mathematics
Michael V. Moses English
Stephen Nowicki Zoology
Naomi Quinn Cultural Anthropology
Philip Stewart, chair Romance Studies
George Truskey Biomedical Engineering
Leonard Spicer,ex off. Chair, Academic Council
Judith Ruderman V. Provost; Self-Study Director
Is Engineering the New Liberal Arts?
--by Marion Shepard
Dean of the School of Engineering
Beginning with the Spring 1984 issue of the DukEngineer, my column has been devoted periodically to an imagined conversation between a Trinity student and an Engineering student on the question "Is Engineering the New Liberal Arts?" The dialogue continued over the time period which included a major revision of the curriculum in Trinity College in 1987 and through at least two program accreditation cycles in Engineering. Due to the graduation of these fictional students, their conversations continued on the occasions of their five-year and ten-year alumni reunions.
The last conversation between these alumni occurred last fall1. Both recognized that they had never agreed fully on what constituted a true liberal arts education. The Engineering student had questioned whether a curriculum which allowed the exclusion of the awareness of science and technology, let alone science and technology literacy, could truly be a contemporary liberal arts program. Likewise, the Trinity student asserted that Engineering programs could not be the new liberal arts by virtue of the very limited exposure to the humanities and social sciences resulting from the constraints of the national accreditation criteria. However, as alumni five and ten years out both recognized that their respective curricula had some shortcomings. We listen in on their ten-year reunion conversation.
Trinity Alumnus: Do you remember those long discussions we had years ago about whether engineering was the new liberal arts?
Engineering Alumnus: Yes, I do. As I recall, we sort of agreed to disagree on what constituted a true liberal arts education. However, after being away from Duke for ten years and working in the "real world," I have a different perspective on the subject. I wish I had had time to take many more humanities and social sciences courses while I was here. It turned out that I took a variety of liberal arts courses but there wasn't any coherency among them. I also neglected some areas that now are becoming increasingly important in my professional life.
Trinity Alumnus: I also wish that I hadn't neglected certain subjects. The area of knowledge I omitted was quantitative reasoning and I also tried to avoid natural sciences but wasn't allowed to. I did manage to take a couple of non-quantitative courses in the life sciences to fulfill that requirement. However, I also remember your contention that while some coursework in those areas wasn't exactly the same as an exposure to technology -- which you equated to engineering -- at least taking some quantitative courses in the physical sciences could have made my liberal education more "contemporary." Now I find myself somewhat handicapped by those omissions. I think I would be more effective in my job if I had a better understanding of science and scientific methodology, let alone a rudimentary understanding of technology.
You said a moment ago that you would like to have been able to take more humanities and social sciences courses. Are there some particular subjects you have in mind?
Engineering Alumnus: Yes. I didn't look far enough ahead to recognize the importance of the liberalizing components of my bachelor's program and of the increasing importance of internationalization and the global economy. You may recall that we, as engineering students, were required to take at least one social science course and an additional four courses from two of the three remaining areas of knowledge - arts and literatures, civilizations, and foreign languages. The area I neglected was foreign languages and now I find myself in a position where I am not well prepared for some of the exciting positions opening up within our international company.
I stopped listening to their conversation at about this point and started thinking about their discussions over the years. Their self-recognized deficiencies reminded me of an article written by Norman Augustine, former chairman and CEO of Martin Marietta Corporation and chairman of the National Academy of Engineering. The article was entitled "Socioengineering (And Augustine's Second Law Thereof)1." Referring to engineers, Augustine wrote "...despite the many positive contributions of our profession, and despite all the amazing technological innovations that are constantly being produced, many of the greatest challenges for engineers today come from nonengineering sources."
Mr. Augustine didn't let the liberal arts majors off the hook either. Referring to a broadened concept of engineering education, he wrote, "The companion action that must be undertaken is that of eliminating widespread technological illiteracy among many, even most, of those who were educated in the liberal arts and hold high-level decision-making positions."
For the balance of my column in Fall 1997 issue of the DukEngineer I suggested that perhaps we in Engineering should undertake a review of our curricula (and I am pleased to see that both Professor Aarne Vesilind and Dean Earl Dowell have also recognized the importance of curriculum review in recent issues of The Faculty Forum, Vol. 9, Nos. 5 and 6.) I further acknowledged that the faculty in Arts and Sciences had just begun an extensive curriculum review. The thought occurred to me, however, that we rarely ask alumni to critique their curricula in view of their having used it as a foundation for several years of functioning in the "real world." Thus, I asked our alumni for their thoughts concerning three issues:
Should Engineering consider instituting a foreign language requirement or at least a foreign language proficiency requirement?
Should Engineering consider developing some prescribed humanities and social sciences packages, perhaps with a mixture of specific and elective courses, with a goal of ensuring some coherency? Are there some liberal arts courses or some liberalizing disciplines that ought to be required of all modern engineers?
Should Engineering consider increasing the number of courses required for the BSE degree independently of what actions Arts and Sciences might consider, with the goal of increasing both the opportunities and/or the requirements for the humanities and social sciences component of its programs?
While I have solicited input from alumni many times in past DukEngineer columns, generally there has been little or no response. Perhaps the new factor which lead to several good responses this time is the ease of responding via email. Several of them used that means of communication to address the questions posed and a few examples follow:
"I just read your article in the Fall 1997 DukEngineer and was compelled to write immediately because you could have overheard me having a virtually identical conversation. I am a 1992 Civil/Environmental Engineering graduate. I worked for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for five years and am currently completing a Masters degree in Public Policy at Georgia Tech. This Masters program is filling in a lot of blanks that could be addressed in a curriculum restructuring at the undergraduate level. I'll elaborate below:
As an undergraduate, one of the few courses that proved extremely valuable in my work experience was an environmental policy course (which sparked my interest in pursuing policy at the graduate level). Even had I not pursued an advanced degree in policy, this would be an extremely valuable course for ANY environmental engineer because the laws for which we must design are studied in detail.
A foreign language requirement or proficiency test is a must. I would love to pursue an international position upon completion of my Masters degree, but my limited knowledge of a limited number of languages will definitely be a hindrance. I agree with the engineering alumnus in your article the globalization of the world economy makes a second (even a third and fourth) language mandatory to compete.
My first exposure to economics was in graduate school. This is unfortunate because ALL engineers should have at MINIMUM a basic understanding of economics to pursue the most cost effective designs. I could probably continue for several more paragraphs, but I've already taken a good bit of your valuable time. I'll close now, having brought to your attention the most important items which could be addressed in curriculum restructuring. Thanks for soliciting input from those of us who have "been there".
--Tiffany Klebe, BSE '92, Civil Engineering
"As a 1984 EE grad, I have a few thoughts to offer concerning the curriculum review. I'm very glad I studied engineering at a liberal arts school. Many of my colleagues from the Penn States and Marylands and WVUs have always been outstanding technical contributors, which helped them early in their careers. Some of them are now having difficulty expanding their vision into the non-technical areas which comprise a large part of the leadership positions expected of somebody that's been out of school for 10-15 years. Duke has the opportunity to give its engineering graduates a solid foundation in all the areas which will be germane throughout a career, and a solid basis for continuous learning in all the fields which will be needed.
The first area I would recommend is economics the economic factors which drive engineering enterprises. Start with the project development cycle. Present courses focus on engineering design. This is the center, where the rubber hits the road, but it's a small part of the development cycle. Graduates need to have some idea of things like requirements definition, design reviews, integration and testing, and so forth. Graduates should have some idea that their creations need money to happen, and that using somebody else's money implies accountability and introduces ethics issues. Graduates should have some appreciation for system engineering, consensus decisionmaking, working with other people from other technical disciplines, the art of "good enough," and the difficult issues involved in decisionmaking. How to decide how much effort to expend in designing brakes for the car? Whose interests to put first: the people funding the effort, or the people who will actually use the product?
I suggest that most engineering schools, Duke included, do not adequately prepare graduates for working in a team environment. Yes, it's still important to have some opportunities to thrash about, to appreciate the frustration of the lab partner who doesn't come through. It's then important to give the students a few social tools necessary for organizing and delivering a project which is too big for one person. Developing a design, breaking it down, estimating the effort and assigning the parts, reviewing progress, integrating the parts into the whole, and communicating the success. The Mythical Man-Month by Brooks is focused on software, but the lessons about the effects of doing a massive project with lots of people is enlightening across disciplines.
Another area I'd like to see addressed in your review is multiculturalism, or more specifically communicating with people of different backgrounds. On one of the project teams in my branch (in DoD), two of the five people are naturalized US citizens. The challenge of establishing good communication among diverse team members is quite real, and is probably even more commonplace in the commercial world. Additionally, engineers must communicate with managers, marketers, lay users, lawyers, trainers, assembly workers, and customers. In my milieu, we must also deal with the different cultures of Army/Navy/AirForce/Marines, and also allied nations. All of this is done in English nowadays, so I see no benefit to forcing a language requirement. However I see huge benefit to studying other cultures literature, history, and so forth; and I see huge benefit to forcing engineering students to communicate with people outside their comfort zone. Written communication is already covered adequately by the electives, but oral presentation and group dynamics is not.
Finally, I'd like to suggest that ethics be required. I'm not talking about having someone come and moralize. I'm suggesting that students be required to think about engineering tradeoffs which involve non-technical factors: safety, legality, disclosure, accountability. There are a host of pressures applied to every engineer's decisionmaking: schedule, budget, meeting the requirement versus meeting the need, proprietary information, disclosing mistakes, and so forth. Why did they decide to launch Challenger, and how could the engineers have been more effective in communicating their reservations? How did planners decide where to put I-40 through Durham? What engineering issues are involved in the disputes between the FBI and the Electronic Frontier Foundation? How can the designer of an X-ray machine protect patients from technician error without limiting the technician's ability to serve the patient?"
--Jesse Newsom, BSE '84, Electrical Engineering
"First, I would like to say that my engineering degree from Duke serves me well every single day. I credit Duke and particularly the School of Engineering with my ability to think creatively but in an orderly fashion to achieve the results that I need. I am not a practicing engineer. I left consulting engineering to become a lawyer. My practice is currently devoted to representing several states in their lawsuits against the tobacco industry. My legal work is quite technical and reminds me of engineering in many ways.
I point out my own career path as a background for my thoughts on your article. I write to you because your column gave me the opportunity to let you know that the best thing to reinforce within the School of Engineering is WRITING SKILLS. I served as a legal writing instructor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and realized that students are graduating from undergraduate programs and entering law school with almost no ability to communicate in writing. Of course, Duke Engineers are an exceptional bunch; however, I still think that intensive writing courses should be a part of the engineering program. Also, the writing should concern subject matters that are completely separate from the engineering program. In this manner, the students will learn to think in a broader realm when appropriate while simultaneously develop the precision skills necessary in engineering. The key is learning when to switch gears in thought processes.
Concerning your particular questions on page 6 of the DukEngineer:
1. Studying a foreign language should be left to the individual student's choice. I am not convinced that all engineering students will need a foreign language to such an extent that it should be another requirement the engineering student faces. Many American engineers struggle with English.
2. Structuring the humanities/social science requirements into packages is not necessarily the answer. I jumped all over Trinity to fulfill my electives and enjoyed all of the courses. In fact, I remember being exposed to entry level courses in a wide range of fields. I never regretted that diversity. I do regret shopping for easy courses in Trinity to fulfill electives. Instead of creating "minors" in certain subject areas by packaging the electives, I think the administration should simply require the students to take more upper level humanities/social science courses in their junior/senior years. Requiring the upper level Trinity courses for graduation would force the freshmen/sophomore engineering students to plan their entry level courses a little more carefully. The bottom line is that too many senior engineering students take the most basic Trinity courses in order to cruise through them. Cherry picking the easiest entry level Trinity courses will naturally lead to a mixed bag of courses on the transcript. If the student realizes from the beginning that a graduate level Trinity course is required for an engineering degree, that student will take the responsibility to create his own "package" toward that goal.
3. I do not remember the exact number of courses required of me in the School of Engineering, and I have no idea how many you require now. The only thing that I do remember is that the School of Engineering is hard. Period. I cannot say that cramming more required hours into the four year program is necessarily the best solution if the Duke faculty thinks changes are necessary. I think the administration might consider eliminating the opportunity for engineering students to avoid some difficult courses, including difficult courses offered in Trinity. I know the School of Engineering wants to be sure that the students are challenged in a manner that leads to ultimate productivity. However, it is equally important that the students are not so completely overloaded that they do not have time to really absorb the information presented to them. If the students are taking 14-16 hours per semester, that is more than enough, so long as all of the hours are equally challenging.
I hope that my comments are helpful. I appreciate this opportunity to communicate with the University. I have an enormous amount of respect for all of you at the Duke School of Engineering. I am very lucky to be a part of such an incredible program."
--R. Brian Johnson, BSE '88, Electrical Engineering
I appreciate very much having received these thoughtful contributions from some of our alumni regarding curriculum review and revision. Clearly they do not all agree on certain issues such as a foreign language requirement. If I had asked for input on the engineering, math, and science components of our programs there probably would have been diverse opinions expressed about those as well. And, of course, those of us on university faculties do not agree on all such matters either. However, this exercise suggests to me that those of us involved in curriculum planning might usefully consider soliciting input from our past students. They are, after all, the products of our past efforts and can help to assess our successes and failures.
1 The DukEngineer, Vol. 60, No. 1, Fall 1997.
2 The Bridge, National Academy of Engineering,
Volume 24, Number 3, Fall 1994.
SANUS & HOSPICE: A PATIENT'S STORY
--by Kevin McCardle (Fuqua School of Business)
It is too late to argue against Duke University Medical Center's acquisition of Triangle Hospice. These are both outstanding institutions with overlapping yet somewhat complementary concerns, and merger may be in the best interests of both parties. There are, however, some serious potential downsides, and it is not too late to warn against their occurrence.
Triangle Hospice is (was) a non-profit provider of services for families with a dying member. Their focus is on helping families through the last months of a member's life and the first year after the member's death. The medical care provided to the dying family member is restricted to palliation of the symptoms (most often pain) of the disease (most often cancer). There are no attempts to treat the underlying disease, whether to effect a cure or merely to extend the dying member's life.
When my wife, Pam, and I were first considering transferring her care to Triangle Hospice last fall, the distinction between curative and palliative care as Hospice would put it, between length of life and quality of life seemed to me somehow artificial. Pam's doctors at Duke had always been vigilant of her quality of life while trying against all odds to keep her alive. I, falsely, equated a choice for Hospice with surrender, a simple cessation of treatment. What I learned in the two short weeks that Pam was in Hospice's care is that the distinction Hospice is founded on is real, and that it is one of kind not just degree. It is a distinction worth preserving, and with Duke's recent acquisition, a distinction that can easily be blurred.
One place where the distinction is likely to get blurred has to do with counseling services. When a family contracts with Hospice, a team of care-providers is met: a nurse, a social worker, a home-health aide, and a bereavement counselor. While the nurse and the home-health aide tend mainly to the dying member, the social worker and the bereavement counselor tend to the entire family. Counseling is part and parcel of Hospice, and that portion of the care continues long after the family member has died. Contrast that with the ancillary role played by counseling services at DUMC. I want to emphasize that I am not talking about the quality of the services provided, for my family and I benefited greatly from the counselors in Cancer Patient Support at Duke, but rather the way those services are valued and presented by the organization in which they serve. In Hospice, the role is primary; at DUMC, the role is tertiary. Now that the Hospice social workers and bereavement counselors are DUMC employees, there is a good chance that their roles will change, and those in Hospice care will suffer.
Of greater concern, though, is a possible perversion of the Hospice charter. The perversion that seems to me most likely, and at the same time the most perverse, arises from differences in costs between the two types of care and the dual nature of DUMC's role. In a recent issue of the Faculty Newsletter, Chancellor for Health Affairs Ralph Snyderman explained the many faceted institution that is Duke University Medical Center. Two of those facets are of interest here: DUMC as provider of medical care and, through the relationship with Sanus/Wellpath, DUMC as insurer and (not-for-)profit center. (In that same presentation, Dr. Snyderman highlighted a third the educational role when discussing the acquisition of Triangle Hospice. I will ignore the educational value of the acquisition here, though it may indeed be quite high.)
In one of the first announcements of the planned merger, reference was made to the fact that Hospice provides a low-cost alternative to hospitalization of dying patients, and Duke was interested in a merger in part because of these lower costs. Any Sanus-insured family with a critically ill member should shudder. The choice to end life-extending treatment for a loved one is a painful, complex, and difficult decision. It is a decision subject to second-guessing and regret. It is a decision that imposes significant costs on the family, emotional costs that swamp whatever insurance savings Sanus might realize. It is not a decision that in any way should be colored by DUMC's profit motive. What Duke has done, though, with this acquisition, is lower the barriers between curative and palliative care, between extending the life of a patient and not doing so.
When Pam's care was transferred to Hospice, there were new insurance forms to be filled, new examinations, new histories to be taken. While the Hospice staff was ever helpful in these tasks, the tasks remained an administrative hassle that subtly reminded us of the enormity of the decision we were making. We had entered a new, albeit brief, phase of our lives that of seeing to Pam's death. This was different from everything we had done before. It deserved a new history, a new exam, a new form, a completely different set of caregivers to see it through. It was not like the transfer from chemotherapy to radiation oncology, nor should it be.
As part of the trust we placed in Pam's Duke physicians, our implicit assumption was that they would do everything within their power to provide us options to keep her alive. When the physical and emotional toll of those options outweighed whatever benefit they could provide, it was then up to Pam to decide to stop treatment. It was never a case of her physicians giving up on her, of their thinking a possible treatment might be too costly to the insurer. When the insurer and the provider of care are one and the same, as at DUMC, incentives exist for cost-of-treatment to receive greater weight in every decision. I am not so naïve as to argue that the dollar costs of a treatment to an insurer are completely irrelevant, but rather that if ever there is a decision where they ought to be nearly so to those counseling the decision maker, the decision of whether and when to transfer care to Hospice is it.
Occasionally during Pam's treatment, her Sanus caseworker would deny claim requests. These were usually small items having to do with occupational or physical therapy, quality of life sorts of things, and with some arguing they would often get approved. I mention them not to complain about Sanus, for the medical insurance we receive through Duke/Sanus is first rate, but to show how the incentives in the system appear. We would request a hand brace from manufacturer X, and Sanus would either deny the request or suggest a cheaper model from manufacturer Y. We would request physical therapy at place A, and Sanus would suggest place B with less frequent sessions instead. How long before these incentives make their way to end-of-life decisions? The patient requests treatment with topotecan (a chemotherapy drug which can extend the life of some cancer patients by several months), and Sanus suggests palliative care at home instead. With its acquisition of Triangle Hospice, DUMC has shortened that time.
What can be done now that the acquisition is complete or nearly so? The safest thing would be to build a wall between the organizations to keep the formal ties as minimal as possible. Second would be to keep that part of Duke which is Sanus/Wellpath completely divorced from decisions regarding continuance of care for dying patients. Above all, the integrity of both DUMC and Hospice must be maintained. A patient and her family must be able to maintain trust in the efforts of her Duke physicians to extend her life if that is her choice. Maintaining that trust will in turn keep the Hospice choice a positive life-affirming one and will maintain the integrity of Hospice.
DUKE MASTERS: GEORGE ELLIOTT CLARKE
EdNote: Professor Clarke (English and Canadian Studies), who has written widely about his Nova Scotian homeland, was recently awarded the $25,000 Portia White Prize by the Nova Scotia Arts Council. The author of two books of poetry and a play, he is presently at work on an opera slated for production this June in Toronto.
Au Tombeau de Pound
Quixotic creditiste, dictator bard,
How can I practise truck or trade with you
Gumbling about Krupp guns and corrupt bread,
Rumbling about usura in U.S. twang,
Stumbling into a piss-white Renaissance,
Venereal poems, amid Pisan vines,
Without memory of the charred forests,
Without history of the chartered streets,
Because Idaho remarked no genius
No Latin, marbled civilization
Only stuttering wind and stolen land,
Only clapboard houses and honed claptrap?
Still, I sift your stained Cantos, pound for pound,
To measure out meet, innocent measures.
To C., Against the Letters of Paul
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat --Eccl.4:11
How you slendered at touching things, pressing
Night-long against sheets, imprinting passion
Black and fresh, our stark, carnal testament,
The word made flesh again, again, each kiss--
A pact with damnation, beatific vice.
We joined, sweating, wet prayers whetting our lips.
Now, you leaf through Paulite letters swearing
Bend to pallid Baptists, and chop your hair.
Unsaved, I tremble in paroxysms
Of want, dreaming your plum breasts, your rum lips,
And, like a Shaker, moan in my cloister.
Ah, Deseret! Nature's loud with longing.
Let Beauty blaze, consume Paul's tracts and laws.
Let's publish our love in fleshly verses,
Incant the Song of Songs, lips reading lips,
And never stop our pressing 'til we hear
The whole creation groaning with our love.
In a current (March 1998) Lingua Franca. article entitled "Love it or Leavis" by Mark Rambler, he suggests that "a hefty infusion of Leavis might be a healthy thing in an age of hyper-professionalized theory and diffidence about literary taste." In the 30s Leavis had kindled a firestorm of debate over, essentially, the canon of British literature as it had been taught for years at Oxbridge by imperiously junking such writers as Fielding, Defoe, and Trollope, branding Shelley as a waste of time, Milton's style as unreadable, and Dickens's novels as "mere entertainment." His campaign rather remarkably extended through the 60s and 70s.
Rambler's essay is prompted by some remarks on current literary studies by Professor Michael Wood of Princeton's English Department. "Our job as professors of English," says Wood, "has become more interpretive than judgmental -- we're professional interpreters. Now these judgmental calls are being made by institutions. Sure, people are going to say that Leavis is too dogmatic. And he is. But one could make the argument that the dogmatism has shifted from the individual to movements and teams. It might be refreshing to reintroduce the urge to make judgments." Wood adds that although Leavis possibly, even probably, "did more damage than good," the value of his passion for literature should not be underestimated: "There is a subtle difference between being fair and being indifferent. Sometimes we lose that, and liberal indifference can be deadly."
--Robert Gleckner (English)
EdNote: For lack of space, my editorial on "The Burden of Difference" and Ferret's Transgressive Deconstruction column have been deleted from this issue. Space permitting, they will appear either in the April Faculty Forum or sometime next fall.
Random Readings & Culture Studies
WOMEN & THE KULTURKAMPF:
BIRTH & CHOICE
"Almost half of American women have terminated at least one pregnancy. . . . Some late nineteenth-century observers estimated that two million were performed annually (which would mean that in Victorian America the number of abortions per capita was seven or eight times as high as it is today). . . . In 1902 the editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association endorsed the by then common policy of denying a woman suffering from abortion complications medical care until she 'confessed' [all the facts of the case], a practice that kept women from seeking timely treatment. . . . In the late 1920s some 15,000 women a year died from abortions. . . . In 1971, the year after decriminalization, the maternal mortality rate in New York State dropped by 45 percent. . . . Today, however, . . . more than 80 percent of U. S. counties have no abortion providers, and some whole states have only one or two."
Katha Pollitt, The Atlantic Monthly 5/97 (111-114)
SCIENCE FOR LAYPERSONS:
"The evidence for animal consciousness is indirect. But so is the evidence for the big bang, neutrinos, or human evolution. . . . Just as we anthropomorphize dogs, horses, and other domestic animals, they return the favor by using their own social signals to greet, entreat, and threaten us. . . much as they would fellow members of their species. . . . Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey proposes that our ancestors evolved consciousness because it enabled them 'to read the minds of others by reading their own. . . .' But mind-reading skills would be useful for other social species. . . . A dog or a man who can tell when a horse is furiously angry is less likely to get kicked in the head. Insofar as anthropomorphism alerts us to the mental states of other species, it's not a mistake; it's a survival skill.
If consciousness allows us to read other minds --by analogy with our awareness of ourselves-- then the assimilation tendency makes adaptive sense. If so, then the scientists dismissal of even the most realistic sorts of anthropomorphism ironically diminishes the value of their own consciousness."
--Matt Cartmill, Natural History 3/98 (20)
EdNote: Professor Cartmill is a member
of the Biological Anthropology and Anatomy departments.
Adventures in Noble Thinking
THE WHEEL OF FIRE
"A great Being or Power was traveling through the sky, his foot was on a kind of lightning as a wheel is on a rail, it was his pathway. The lightning was made entirely of the spirits of innumerable people close to one another, and I was one of them. He moved in a straight line, and each part of the streak or flash came into its short conscious existence only that he might travel. I seemed to be directly under the foot of God. . . . I was the means of his achieving and revealing something, I know not what or to whom."
--A woman under ether in William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
The Faculty Forum is published monthly by the Academic Council of Duke University.
Editor Victor Strandberg (English). Editorial Advisory Board: Matt Cartmill (Biological Anthropology & Anatomy), Howard Clark (Biomedical Engineering), Buford Jones (English), Seymour Mauskopf (History), and Kathy Rudy (Women's Studies).
The purpose of the Faculty Forum is to provide an opportunity for faculty members to discuss topics of common interest. The FF therefore welcomes, and indeed depends on, contributions by faculty members. Contributions may be published anonymously, but the editor will need to know the identity of all contributors so as to authenticate the contribution and permit appropriate editing procedures. We welcome fact, opinion, and creative whimsy from across the wide range of Arts & Sciences and Professional Schools--book reviews (new or reprinted), short essays, serendipitous items from random reading, and voices from the eternal kulturkampf.
Contributions of every kind should be sent, in both print and (if lengthy) computer disk, to the editor, Victor Strandberg, in 315 Allen Building. Voicemail is 684-3976; no objection to calls at home, 489-5531. E-mail is email@example.com FAX (English department) is 919-684-4871. The deadline for submissions is about the 25th of each month.