“Lux et Veritas | Light and Truth” will be the College’s final Themester
The College will close Themester, a fall themed semester program, after its fifteenth year. The final Themester will be fall 2023’s “Lux et Veritas | Light and Truth.” Inspired by Indiana University’s motto, the final Themester will be an exploration of truth and inquiry.
We anticipate that some colleagues and community members might have questions about the sunsetting of this program. Some questions and their answers are presented below.
Why is Themester going away?
Undergraduate programming in the College has increased substantially over the past few years, and, in recent years, there has been a decline in faculty interest in Themester. As we invest in new undergraduate initiatives, strained resources require us to make difficult decisions in order provide adequate support to new programs. We recognize that we can’t keep adding more undergraduate initiatives and asking faculty for more and more service. Something has to give. Themester resources will be rededicated to other programs and initiatives that serve undergraduate students.
Themester is a source of funding for faculty-organized talks and other programs. Will something else take its place?
Themester was envisioned as a program to augment undergraduate education. Other programs have been and are being developed.
Funding will stay with undergraduate initiatives, in particular a program in development that will combine undergraduate research, intentional life design, immersive educational experiences such as study abroad and internships, and career readiness. We see it as a transformative approach to the undergraduate experience. More information will be shared in the coming months.
By its nature, Themester was not a regular source of funding for any particular faculty members as it changed themes each year. There are other sources – the College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI), for example—that are designed to serve faculty and are also more flexible for faculty needs.
What happens to Themester staff?
There is only one appointed staff person. Tracy Bee, who coordinates the program, will see out the completion of Themester through December 2023. Themester is her largest project, but not her only one. Ms. Bee will continue to be involved in undergraduate programming initiatives.
What happens to the Themester internship program?
The Themester internship program will be discontinued, but we expect other internship opportunities to arise.
Themester programs contributes to the intellectual life of campus and community with many programs open to the public. Is the College planning to continue that kind of public outreach?
The College contributes to public outreach in a host of ways, including programming through the College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI) and the academic departments. You’ll continue to see performances from the Department of Theatre, Drama & Contemporary Dance and exhibitions at Grunwald Gallery, for example. College faculty and staff will continue to work with partners such as IU Cinema and the College Arts and Humanities Council, which are centers of public programming. This is not the end of College-affiliated public programming.
Why 2023? Why didn't the College end it with last year's program?
We think 15 years is a good stopping point, and Lux et Veritas is a way to finish the program with a theme that is tied closely to the history and spirit of IU. This final theme provides an opportunity for faculty and students to take part in a conversation about the roles of the university, of the media, of science, and of politics in a range of discourses touching upon truth, fact, inquiry, and ignorance.