No. While many of our speakers are scholars who are trained in academic disciplines and hold conventional academic credentials, we also host others from non-academic or para-academic backgrounds. These include, but are not limited to: journalists, artists, political practitioners, NGO representatives, diplomats, theorists, activists, researchers, and any others who have something informed and substantial to contribute to the conversation for peaceful coexistence.
Generally, organizations, departments, centers, or institutes at Rice University approach us with a request or offer of co-sponsorship. We are eager to work with our colleagues at the university and with other community organizations whose missions are compatible with ours. Therefore, when we agree to co-sponsor, we do so because one or more of the following are true:
? We believe the proposed program to be beneficial toward fulfilling our mission.
? We view the requesting organization as a reputable entity whose mission, either as a whole or in this particular event, coincides with ours.
? We see the requesting organization as representative of a group in the community with which we would like further or continued good relations.
? We assess the program, and our co-sponsoring of it, to be an opportunity for gathering a diverse audience that may not otherwise assemble together.
? We view the event as an opportunity to share resources with other organizations for larger impact in the community.
? We can provide opportunities for Rice students, faculty, staff and the public that would not be otherwise possible.
Other factors at play in our decision to co-sponsor or not include: our Center schedule, our available staff for event production, our available financial resources, and the extent to which we have hosted a similar theme, topic or program in recent months.
Over time, after several co-sponsorships, we have developed fruitful relationships with many community organizations. We often say ?yes? to their requests for co-sponsorship not because the program meets any of the above criteria in every respect, but out of professional courtesy and in a spirit of collegiality and community partnership.