Call for 2023-2024 theme

Submissions are being accepted

Theme Submission Form

Public Affairs annual theme suggestions for the 2023-2024 academic year are now being accepted. Each year, the university focuses on a specific aspect of our public affairs mission.  This theme helps to further expand the understanding of the mission and how it relates to all of us in our everyday lives. 

As is the case with this year’s theme, Bridging the Divide, the intent is to identify and adopt a theme that can be embraced and explored by each college as well as the co-curricular campus community for the academic year. While public affairs themes generally focus on challenges in public policy or issues confronting our world, you are encouraged to submit any and all ideas. Ultimately, the theme will be developed in a collaborative manner involving representatives of the various parts of the university community (students/faculty/staff); these individuals will look for a concept that can engage and excite the campus through a broad topic and provide meaningful opportunities for learning.  In some cases, theme suggestions may be combined to broaden the perspective of the topic.  As the driving force of the annual Public Affairs Conference, the theme should be broad enough to be used in a wide variety of both curricular and co-curricular activities, yet focused enough to be illustrative of our public affairs mission components:  community engagement, cultural competence, and ethical leadership.

The annual public affairs theme is to be selected two years in advance so that the theme may be incorporated into SOAR materials.  This time frame also allows for careful planning of a multitude of public affairs activities that will occur that year including the selection of the common reader related to the theme.

View past themes


Proposals may be submitted through the online form.  The description should include a narrative of the idea and how it would fulfill the above criteria, including specific examples of curricular and co-curricular activities that could take place.  Proposals may include names as potential Provost Fellows for Public Affairs are encouraged.

Provost Fellow for Public Affairs

Once the theme has been selected, the Associate Provost for Public Affairs and Assessment will begin selection a Provost Fellow.  The Provost Fellow will assist in coordinating the year's Public Affairs Conference.  To qualify, the Fellow must be a tenured faculty member in good standing within the college/university and willing to engage the entire campus in the development of the Public Affairs Conference. 


Questions should be directed to Dr. Keri Franklin, Associate Provost, Public Affairs and Assessment at, or Mary Ann Wood, Director, Public Affairs Support

Theme Submission Form