The Mellon Foundation made a $500,000 commitment to Project Pericles to support a Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL)™ Program in the Humanities.
In collaboration with community partners, Periclean Faculty Leaders (PFLs) will create new courses across the humanities that incorporate community-based projects addressing six grand challenges: Climate Change, Education Access, Immigration, Mass Incarceration, Race and Inequality, and Voter Engagement. The PFL Program encourages campuses to incorporate civic engagement into the curriculum while empowering students to use their academic knowledge to tackle real-world problems.
The grant from the Mellon Foundation will support 62 faculty members across 31 Periclean campuses reaching thousands of students and more than 50 community organizations. “This national initiative will have a profound impact on our campuses while benefiting local communities and bringing resources to bear on truly pressing problems,” said Jan Liss, Project Pericles’ Executive Director. “We appreciate the Mellon Foundation’s support for this initiative and for recognizing the power of the PFL Program to highlight the relevancy of the humanities.”
As part of this signature program, Project Pericles will have two PFLs on each of our 31 Periclean campuses. The first cohort will teach courses in 2020-2021 with the second round of PFLs teaching in 2021-2022. Presidents, Provosts, and Program Directors will nominate faculty members with demonstrated leadership potential who can make a significant contribution on their campuses and in their communities. Outside evaluators then review all applications before final selections are made.
In addition to designing, teaching, and evaluating civic engagement courses in collaboration with community partners, other features of the program include:
• Peer mentoring and review—Faculty members will select a peer PFL from another institution, and they will consult with each other as they prepare for, teach, and evaluate their courses.
• Opportunities for faculty and course development—Project Pericles will organize meetings for PFLs in conjunction with national conferences for collaboration, feedback, and sharing best practices.
• Support through a network of civically engaged faculty leaders—By focusing on the humanities and offering two consecutive rounds of PFLs, strong cohorts will collaborate within and between our member institutions, and more widely to advance public scholarship nationally.
Project Pericles shares with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation the goal of supporting the humanities, and the liberal arts more generally, in long-term sustainable ways, and of clearly demonstrating their relevancy in addressing real-world concerns. We look forward to working with our member campuses over the next three years on this powerful program.