I write to follow up on my announcement at the last Faculty meeting of the year and to bring you up to date on the Copeland Colloquium. Following an open meeting with faculty and continuing discussions with the administration, we are pleased to announce that, starting in 2007-08, the Colloquium will expand on a three-year trial basis from a single semester to the full academic year. In the new arrangement, fellows will be selected with reference to an interdisciplinary theme that changes from year to year. The program will have sufficient funds to allow for three or four outside fellows a year with stipends ranging from $30,000 to $50,000, depending on rank; support funds for colloquia, subventions, and other programming; and a part-time administrative position to attend to the needs of the fellows and each year's sponsoring faculty group. Interested groups should contact Dean Greg Call for more budget details. The Copeland Committee will review the new program early in the third year of the trial and report their findings to the Committee of Six and the Faculty.
We now invite groups of faculty sponsors to propose year-long themes for the Colloquium for 2007-08 (and, if feasible, for the following two academic years). Each proposal should have a minimum of three faculty sponsors from at least two academic departments. Though in future years these proposals will be evaluated by one of the College's standing committees (perhaps the FRAP Committee), in this transition year the current Copeland Committee will assume that task. Themes will be chosen for their intrinsic merit and their capacity to interest in turn different faculty constituencies. Each group of faculty sponsors will be responsible for the intellectual direction of that year's program. We envision a mixed invitation/application model whereby Amherst faculty might invite one or two outside fellows and choose the remainder through a national competition.
Departing from current practice, fellows will be responsible for their own housing and meals. We hope that at some future date fellows will work together on campus in contiguous office or studio space with access to a common room for seminars. But since offices are currently at a premium, faculty sponsors will need to provide work space for their fellows.
Proposals should include a brief description of the theme and explain the nature of its appeal to colleagues in different disciplines. If applicable, the names of potential fellows should be included as well.
Thanks once more for all the input we've received as we've worked through these changes. We will be sure to rely on your help again in the coming months.
Andrew Parker, for the Copeland Committee