2016 April 27 - 07:22 am

Faculty Lounge

A Summary Listing of Faculty Activities at Colleges Around the Nation


Jan Muto, associate professor of communications at Norco College, (Calif.), will deliver the college’s 2016 Faculty Lecture. The Faculty Lecture began in 1961, and each year Academic Senate members select the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. It is the highest honor faculty bestow on a colleague. Muto, a graduate of the University of Utah and the University of Delaware, will present Are You Sure? Symbols, Meaning and Reality. “Communication is, by definition, a social activity,” Muto said. “We use symbols, both verbal and nonverbal, for the purpose of creating and sustaining shared meaning. The act of assigning meaning to symbols is rife with challenges; in particular, we may overlook how words and objects can be attributed a meaning different from what we intend. Our intention can be noble or it can be self-serving, but whatever it is, the other party may not see the world in the same way. This ‘misunderstanding’’ is exacerbated when we are unable to or fail to engage the other person and further negotiate meanings.” From January 2009 until June of 2010, Muto served as Riverside City College’s president after serving as chief academic officer at Madisonville Community College in Kentucky and eventually as interim president for three months. While president at RCC, Muto led the college’s effort in winning a competitive planning grant and a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and National League of Cities “Communities Learning in Partnership” grant and led the college’s effort to be named a demonstration site for the Gateway to College program for high school dropouts.

School choice takes many forms and offers benefits across the board — for students using vouchers to attend private schools to others opting for their traditional public school — according to Anna Egalite, an North Carolina State University education professor. Her lecture “School Choice: Landscape, Theory and Research” was part of the Liberty Lecture Series sponsored by Central Carolina Community College, a program highlighting ideas that expand freedom, liberty, and well-being for mankind. While many think of school choice as something radical and new, Egalite said it’s actually been part of the American landscape for generations. In more familiar cases, parents have enrolled their children in private schools, paying for their education out of pocket. But it can take a more subtle form, as well, when families choose a place to live based on the neighborhood school. “Choice is always present in the United States in education,” said Egalite, who was raised and educated in Ireland, where all schools are privately operated, but governmentfunded. “When we talk about introducing it, we’re actually talking about expanding it.“ Egalite described a catalog of policies for expanding school choice that are already being offered in North Carolina and other states. Some of them — including magnet schools and the option to choose from schools within a local district — are offered squarely within the traditional public school structure. Others like charter schools, homeschooling, and private schools paid with a voucher provided by the government can break that traditional mold.

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