Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nowell Donovan said TCU will offer courses on water, energy, food and time in every department within the next five to six years.
“If we’re going to make our voices heard, we have to be leaders and be informed about the world,” Donovan said.
Donovan asked professors to adjust current courses to accommodate one or more of the four themes. He also said that other courses will be planned by groups of professors to specifically focus on one of these themes.
Donovan said he wants to teach students how to “accommodate a world where the population is growing so rapidly.” He also wants TCU to implement these themes into courses across all departments.
Academic departments will first target the theme of water, Donovan said. Professor Linda Hughes has used various poems to incorporate the themes into her English class.
The Women and Gender Studies and fine arts departments have also shown interest in assisting this new initiative.
“It’s difficult for fine arts to participate in all those themes,” said Dr. Scott Sullivan, dean of the College of Fine Arts.
However, Sullivan said department faculty members have already brainstormed ways to incorporate water into its courses. David Begnoche, an assistant professor of music, is creating a composition with water as the focus.
A course will be offered in January 2015 called, “A Day in the Life of the Trinity River,” which will focus on the theme of water. This course “will be team-taught by AddRan Dean Andy Schoolmaster and a number of TCU’s most distinguished faculty members,” according to an email sent to honors students last week.
Donovan said he wants TCU courses to become a type of curriculum that will be more relevant to the world. He envisions a university where students can focus on a different theme each year as TCU continues to “encourage all our students to think globally.”