Current Provost Fellows
Professor of Art & Design
Provost Fellow Project: The University in a Divided Nation
Professor Kevin Hamilton is working to help develop more robust processes for facilitating dialogue on divisive topics, both within the campus community and more broadly. In cooperation with other campus efforts, offices, and staff, and with attention to emerging practices among peer universities and organizations, Kevin is looking to develop new, more humane approaches to mediated dialogue that complement existing policies and practices. This effort will gather campus experts in dialogue facilitation, organizational communication, and restorative justice to design experimental approaches to dealing with the complex conflicts emerging in our rapidly changing political and social climate.
As policy and processes for hosting campus speakers are an opportune starting point for this project, Kevin’s plans include the careful invitation and hosting of such speakers, in cooperation with student organizations and academic units. As this new effort gets going, he welcomes suggestions on specific issues or social settings through which to develop and discover new approaches to bringing students, faculty, staff, and community members together across the issues that currently divide our nation.
Professor of Law
Provost Fellow Project: Study of Faculty-Student Consensual Relationship Policies
Colleges and universities across the country have struggled with whether, and to what extent, they should regulate consensual romantic or sexual relationships between their faculty members and students. These campus debates have sometimes proven quite difficult, due to the sensitive and complicated nature of the subject matter. Among other things, consensual relationship policies implicate questions of personal privacy and autonomy, institutional mission and responsibility, and the difference between meaningful consent and coercion. Despite these difficulties, the overwhelming majority of schools in both the Big 10 Academic Alliance and in the Association of American Universities have adopted dedicated consensual relationship polices in recent years. By contrast, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has not done so.
To provide a sound starting point for a conversation about the need for a dedicated consensual relationship policy, and the form such a policy might take, Professor Sharpe is undertaking a comprehensive study of the consensual relationship issue. His study will analyze the various approaches taken by Big 10 Academic Alliance and Association of American Universities member schools, our current policies and practices (which address broader but related issues of nepotism and conflicts of interest), and past efforts to formulate a faculty-student consensual relationship policy for the campus.
Professor of Physics
Provost Fellow Project: Sustainability on the Illinois Campus
Professor Scott Willenbrock is working to implement sustainability initiatives across campus. His focus is on energy-related aspects of sustainability, since it is energy use that constitutes the majority of campus greenhouse gas emissions. His goal is to bring more renewable energy into the campus energy production portfolio. Scott is deeply interested in energy efficiency, and is working to improve the energy standards of new and renovated buildings, as well as to bring more electric vehicle charging opportunities to the campus.
Learn more about the Provost Fellows Program.