Abstract

One of the assumptions in the notion of “connection” is that there are discrete entities to connect. In some ways, the ethos of Portland State's University Studies program is pushing the boundaries of this understanding of connection toward even a deeper sense of being part of one another. As the issues in this volume have focused on students, faculty, community, and leadership, we feel a nagging dissatisfaction with the limitations imposed by these categories. Although titles and roles persist (and are necessary) because University Studies is part of an academic institution, in the lived pursuit of inquiry, the labels can and do become blurred: faculty are students, leaders are colleagues, and community partners are teachers. In a sense, the 25-year journey from reform to revolution is what has occurred in University Studies. What began as an innovative configuration for delivering general education has blossomed into a living challenge to the traditions of higher education—and, we assert, our interconnected communities are all the better for it.

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