University Senate                                                         

Proposed: December 4, 2009
Adopted: December 4, 2009 by voice vote with no abstentions

 

RESOLUTION TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF HUMAN RIGHTS TO
THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF HUMAN RIGHTS

 

WHEREAS      The Center for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR) was founded thirty years ago and has played a pioneering role in the development of human rights as a locus of academic inquiry and scholarship in an interdisciplinary setting, as reflected in the composition of its advisory board, and

WHEREAS      the CSHR advises the major university programs on human rights, including concentrations for undergraduates and SIPA students, the Liberal Studies M.A. program, the Certificate in Human Rights for master’s and doctoral students, and the summer school Program in Human Rights, and

WHEREAS      the CSHR is instituting a faculty research seminar, has published a Working Papers series and Basic Documents in Human Rights, and has established a grants program for graduate students, and

WHEREAS      multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary course offerings require coordination which cannot be satisfied within any one existing department, and

WHEREAS      an institute will be able to make consistent interdisciplinary instruction and expand the scope of research and scholarship by coordinating joint appointments of faculty, and

WHEREAS      an institute will be able to normalize relations with faculty through formal affiliations, foster faculty initiatives, and support graduate students engaged in interdisciplinary research, and

WHEREAS      there appears to be no conflict with the existing Human Rights Institute in the Law School,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Center for the Study for Human Rights become the Institute for the Study of Human Rights.

Proponent:
Committee on Education

 



PROPOSAL FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF HUMAN RIGHTS AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
(currently the Center for the Study of Human Rights – CSHR)

            CSHR was founded 30 years ago. Since its inception the Center has played a pioneering role in the development of human rights as a locus of academic inquiry and scholarship. It has developed an interdisciplinarity which is reflected by its Advisory Board with members from many disciplines, departments and schools.

            The demand for human rights teaching on the part of Columbia students has developed exponentially across disciplines and departments and has kept pace with an increasing interest on the part of the faculty in both teaching and research in this field.
Education.
Currently CSHR provides advisory functions for the major university programs on Human Rights:

Research.

Capacity building.
CSHR currently offers a 4-month Human Rights Advocate program, as well as other advocacy-based programs such as tailored workshops and meetings. CSHR intends to broaden the scope of its capacity-building activities by establishing professionally oriented Certificate Programs in Human Rights.

Need for establishment of an Institute
The challenges of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary course offerings require coordination and cannot be satisfied within anyone existing departmental structure. The current Center is all grounded in administrators. It has no faculty contributions. In order to regularize interdisciplinary instruction and expand the scope of research and scholarship, joint appointments of faculty are needed.
An Institute will have the ability to regularize relations with faculty through formal affiliations, to provide adequate support to graduate students engaged in interdisciplinary research, and to foster faculty initiatives. While it is expected that the administrative structure of the proposed Institute initially will remain the same as that of CSHR, it may expand in time.
Note: There appears to be no conflict  with the existing Human Rights Institute in the Law School. Relationships between the two entities are friendly and involve occasional ad-hoc collaboration.

Recommendation
Since the proposed ISHR will combine interdisciplinary research and instruction across departmental boundaries, it fits the working definition for an Institute. Approval is recommended.