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Princeton to Expand Capacity for "Global Citizenship"

10:14 AM, Feb 24, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Whatever that means...it's part of the pitch for "Aspire: A Plan for Princeton."

The Aspire campaign has three principal goals:

  • to encourage all Princetonians to engage more fully in the life of our remarkable University and to help shape its future;
  • to expand our capacities in such critical areas as engineering and the environment, the creative and performing arts, neuroscience and the natural sciences, and global citizenship; and
  • to enhance the programs and activities that form the core of the Princeton experience, inside and outside the classroom.

The website links to slide show that explains, "global competence...should be a part of every Princeton undergraduate's education." In case you've never heard the term global competence before, it was defined in a recently-published National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges report, A Call to Leadership: The Presidential Role in Internationalizing the University, as the ability "… not only to contribute to knowledge, but also to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate its meaning in the context of an increasingly globalized world."

Besides using impenetrable and ridiculous jargon, under the section on global citizenship, the globally competent deans at Princeton note the opening of Princeton's new Center for African American Studies, described here as "a model for the study of race and cultural diversity." Why are African-Americans put under the same category as foreigners is a question a black undergraduate might want to ask the folks running the Aspire campaign.