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An Important Update from the Center

By Sheila Kennedy on June 19, 2015 in Civic Blog


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Let me begin by thanking you for being a strong supporter of the IUPUI Center for Civic Literacy (CCL).  Thanks, as always, for your loyal readership, we are constantly trying to post things that we think you as the readers would be interested and engaged in.  The Center has many projects underway both in the areas of research and public outreach and education and we are continually trying to make a difference while continuing to identify barriers and opportunities.

I am writing with two pieces of very important information about the future of CCL.

First, we will not be convening a yearly conference this year.  Our original start-up funding from the university was for three years, from summer of 2012 until this summer.  While the university has allowed us to extend the use of those funds through the summer of 2016, it is simply not cost-effective for us to hold a third conference right now.

Second, I am stepping down as the founding director of CCL and passing the reins to Art Farnsley.  Many of you will remember Art from the summer conferences in 2013 and 2014. He has been part of the Center’s core faculty from our inception.

Art is the associate director of IUPUI’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture.  He will step down as Executive Officer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in 2016 after 10 years in that role.  He is exceptionally well-placed to manage CCL’s current project portfolio and to help us move into new areas of research and outreach. He will work with Rachel Thelin, the senior analyst at the Public Policy Institute who has been our business manager from the start.

Despite this change, I have no plans to leave CCL.  I continue to write, to participate in translational research and public events, and to raise the funds needed to keep the Center moving forward in the years to come.  But it became increasingly difficult for me to do those things while continuing to administer the Center, so I am incredibly grateful that Art is stepping up to that task.

If you have any questions about the transition, or about the Center’s research agenda or future plans, please don’t hesitate to contact either Art or me. And thank you again for your continued support of the center.

Sheila Suess Kennedy

Director, Center for Civic Literacy
Professor of Law and Public Policy,
School of Public and Environmental Affairs,
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Art’s Contact Information:

Arthur E. Farnsley, II
Research Professor of Religious Studies
Associate Director for the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts


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