Special Academic Initiatives offer groupings of courses across multiple disciplines that address specific issues, such as “Food for Thought,” about food production and consumption or “Sustainability,” about the challenges of sustainability for the Kenyon community. Special Academic Initiatives also tend to respond to the character of the particular places and spaces of which Kenyon College is a part. While the groupings of courses are not limited to a single department or program, they do define a set of interests for students to explore and reveal a coherence across the curriculum that may not otherwise be apparent.
Special Academic Initiatives can be proposed by a tenured member of the faculty and are often supported by grants awarded or anticipated. However, the proposed Academic Initiative should be based primarily on existing courses in the Kenyon curriculum. The proposer must inform those faculty whose courses are included about the Initiative and secure their approval regarding the inclusion of the courses they teach as part of the proposal. The proposer(s) must provide a rationale for the Initiative and should forward the proposal to the Curricular Policy Committee (in cases where no additional resources, aside those supplied by a grant, are required). Courses that are included in the Initiative will be listed in the Course Catalog, but those that are Special Topics courses will be listed separately with a clear indication of the semester offered.
Once approved, the Academic Initiative will normally be included in the course catalog for a period of three years and will be updated annually by the proposer(s) or another faculty member who has participated in the Initiative and agrees to serve as a replacement for oversight of the Initiative.
The proposer(s) can renew the Special Academic Initiative for an additional three years by notifying the Registrar as long as oversight of the Initiative is assured by the proposer(s). The proposers may discontinue the Initiative at any time by notifying the Registrar.