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ERIC Number: EJ791603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Sustaining Academic Community in the Aftermath of Tragedy
Wildman, Terry M.
About Campus, v12 n6 p2-9 Jan-Feb 2008
The author's charge in this article is to focus particularly on the question of how an academic community can sustain itself and work productively and positively to achieve normally high aspirations for its students and all members of the community. Writing from the perspective of a longtime member of the Virginia Tech community, he begins with a short account of what happened in the immediate days following the shootings of Monday, April 16, 2007. This descriptive account, incomplete as it is, reveals general themes that may be important--and possibly even surprising--in thinking about how institutions can perform well in the difficult circumstances that accompany tragic events. One of the exciting features of academic life is the fresh beginning one gets to experience at the start of each academic year. At large institutions, this also means bringing in several thousand new students and usually dozens of new faculty members. This ongoing renewal is energizing and filled with great expectations. And because the territory is well charted, there is a strong sense of knowing how things should go as the rhythms of yet another academic season play out. The coming year at Virginia Tech will contain all of these excitement-producing elements, shadowed now with uncertainty. In this article, the author attempts to outline a rough blueprint that can be used to think about how a productive community for learning can be preserved and strengthened, even in the wake of tragedy. While there is no magic in the suggestions offered here, there is a solid foundation of theory and practice to draw on in producing a long-term strategy. (Contains 4 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia