This profile is part of a series of conversations with college presidents in various higher education institutions.
Democracy requires responsible citizens who can make sound decisions about their future, and can act on these decisions. Through joint learning exchanges, Kettering studies how citizens might accept their responsibility, make sound decisions about what is in the public’s interest, and join forces to act on those decisions.
Democracy requires a community, or a society of citizens, that can work together. We research the way citizens face persistent problems in their communities. These problems, such as poverty, violence, and gaps in educational achievement, require citizens, communities, and institutions to work together to address them.
Democracy requires institutions with public legitimacy that contribute to strengthening society. While institutions can affect the public’s ability to govern itself, they can also unintentionally weaken self-rule by substituting expert knowledge for public knowledge. Aligning institutional routines with citizens’ work is the central challenge.
A Public Voice 2017, the Kettering Foundation’s annual exploration of public thinking on key issues, will be held in Washington DC at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, May 9. This year’s event focuses on an issue important to all Americans: safety and justice.
In recent years, Kettering has brought together a series of research exchanges with college presidents on the civic purposes of higher education.
According to a recent follow-up study, students who use deliberation to enhance civic engagement efforts in college are still feeling the effects 10 years after the fact.
Jay Theis had a newly minted doctorate in political science when he became concerned about the fate of a Methodist church that was closing across the street from his Kansas City home.