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every ten years.  The last one was published in 1995.  If you go on line to the National Research Council, you will find that Vanderbilt and University central did not stand out in the way that we should have.  There were a couple of bright lights, but not nearly as many as we should have.  The Divinity School was actually one of the few truly bright lights.  Investments in graduate education going forward will enhance the reputation of the entire institution.  I think we have a real challenge to do inter-disciplinary research well.  That has been in the works now for at least fifteen years.  I think many universities have tried to do research across disciplinary boundaries as well.  I think we have as fine an opportunity to be successful as any in the country – in part because of our small size – and we do tend to play well in the sandbox with the various schools.  Because of  that I think we can do some things in graduate training and undergraduate training that few other institutions can attempt.  I think a unique burden on the College of Arts and Science is that we have to rely on our partner schools.  We are involved in one fashion or another in virtually every major inter-disciplinary effort funded by the academic venture capitalistic fund that many of you have heard about.  It is a one hundred million dollar investment in research and graduate education.  I think we probably have some role to play in virtually everyone of those 11 or 12 funded programs.  And then finally, if any of you have ever visited a large university campus – UT Knoxville, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Ohio State, UCLA – it is the size of a large city and a lot of times you can make up for mistakes by simply diluting in a vast sea of talent.  We can’t do that.  We are relatively a small institution; yet we are competing on the academic playing field with the Michigans, Berkley, and the UCLAs.  SO I think the critical issue for us going forward is flexibility. We have to be prepared to do some things that other institutions perhaps either don’t want to do or are so hide bound in terms of procedures that they won’t entertain some very interesting flexibilities that might get them further.  I will give you a quick example.  We hired a woman from Princeton last year.  Oh gosh, Jim [Dean Hudnut-Beumler] went to Princeton.  And she is in the German Department.  The reason that we got her is because, and this sounds strange to many of you, we were willing to hire her for a permanent position but only in the Spring Semester.  We are paying her half a salary and the other half of the year she is in Germany doing her research. Believe it or not, Princeton wouldn’t agree to that.  It was full time or nothing.  So we were willing to get a great scholar who is giving her inaugural chair lecture very soon and we got her because we were more flexible than Princeton.  So I think that is another thing that we have to keep in mind as we move forward.  The goal has to be among the schools that the whole has to be greater than the sum of the parts, because we don’t have that many parts to put in play.  We have got to be flexible and we have got to be very smart in the way that we invest our resources.  

James Hudnut-Beumler, Dean of the Divinity School.  I began with invoking religious nuts.  I am going to do it again. Because the great challenge before the Divinity School as a school that has just professional students and graduate students and faculty and staff that assist them in learning is to come to terms with the fact that religion isn’t going away and that it is simultaneously the source of our deepest meanings and a danger to others when it goes awry.  So our mission is two-fold: it is to educate religious leaders, people who are actually going to lead well from the source of this deep human and transcending meanings and help unpack what is going on. We are going to try and foster best practices and examine both best practices and not so good practices and texts and traditions as they come down to us through the ages.  We have 34 different religious traditions represented in our Divinity School student body.  One of the things that makes this an exciting place relative to almost any of the other 250 schools of our kind in the United States and Canada, is that rich religious diversity.  That has been around for half a century.  One of the

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