Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.61
Liaison Jennifer Palilonis
Submission Date Sept. 28, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Ball State University
ER-T2-8: Themed Semester or Year

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Dr. Melinda Messineo
Interim Associate Vice President for Diversity and Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Professor of Sociology
Institutional Diversity
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution chosen a sustainability-related theme for its themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the past three years?:
Yes

A brief description of the themed semester, year, or first-year experience:

A community/campus reader program featuring the book, "Caught in the Middle" by Richard Longworth. Ex–Chicago Tribune correspondent Longworth (Global Squeeze) paints a bleak, evocative portrait of the Midwest's losing struggle with foreign competition and capitalist gigantism. It's a landscape of shuttered factories, desperate laid-off workers, family farms gobbled up by agribusiness, once great cities like Detroit and Cleveland now in ruins, small towns devolved into depopulated rural slums haunted by pensioners and meth-heads. But the harshest element of the book is Longworth's own pitiless ideology of globalism. In his telling, Midwesterners are sluggish, unskilled, risk-averse mediocrities, clinging to obsolete industrial-age dreams of job security, allergic to change, indifferent to education and totally unfit for the global age. They are doomed because global competition is unstoppable, says Longworth, who dismisses the idea of trade barriers as simplistic nonsense purveyed by conspiracy theorists. The silver linings Longworth floats—biotechnology, proposals for regional cooperation—are meager and iffy. The Midwest's real hope, he insists, lies in a massive influx of mostly low-wage immigrant workers and in enclaves of the rich and brainy, like Chicago and Ann Arbor, where the creative class sells nebulous information solutions to dropouts and Ph.D.s. It's not the Middle West that's under siege in Longworth's telling; it's the now apparently quaint notion of a middle class.

The 2011 Freshmen Connection common reader was "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls.


The sustainability-related book that was chosen, if applicable:
Caught in the Middle

The website URL where information about the theme is available:

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