What sort of classes would OU faculty members devise if money were no object? Well, for one thing, they would bring in the best guest lecturers in their fields to stimulate interest and inspire students to delve more deeply.
In 2004-2005, President Boren began a program to provide extra funds to enhance courses already scheduled to be offered during the academic year in either the fall or the spring semester. Courses eligible for consideration must be semester-long, regularly scheduled courses. This program will be continued in academic year 2017-2018.
This fund provides up to a maximum of $20,000 in one-time funds per selected course to bring in several (about 3-5) experts in the field during the semester to interact with the students enrolled in the course and to give a lecture open to the public. In some cases, the visiting expert might also speak at a Presidential roundtable discussion that would include other undergraduate students and faculty.
Upcoming Dream Courses
Spring 2018 Presidential Dream Courses
Dogs: From Feral to Friend
Courtney Hofman, Department of Anthropology
This interdisciplinary course will draw from art, history, genetics, psychology, biology, anthropology, and other fields to explore the history of “Man’s best friend” and their close relatives. We will investigate the behavior, biogeography, and relationships humans have had across time with wolves, dog, foxes, and coyotes. We will delve into the process of domestication and the variety of roles that dogs play in societies, from workers, food sources, and companions. World-class guest speakers, OU anthropology faculty, and local partners will contribute to these discussions about human-canid interactions.
Genesis: In the Beginning
HIST 3950-003 and RELS 3013-003
Jill Hicks-Keeton, Religious Studies Program
Alan Levenson, Department of History
The book of Genesis has provided literary and theological resources for Jews and Christians as they seek to make sense of the world in which they live. The narratives of creation, the Garden of Eden, the Matriarchs and Patriarchs, and Joseph’s exploits in Egypt have been interpreted through time to explain the nature of humanity, gender hierarchies, kinship ethics, and the relationships among the three religious traditions. This Presidential Dream Course challenges students to encounter numerous, often unfamiliar, ways of interpreting Genesis, paying attention to voices of ancient biblical interpreters and of modern scholars.
Analytics of Resilient Cyber-Physical-Social Networks
ISE 4970-900 and ISE 5970-900
Kash Barker, Industrial & Systems Engineering
Andres Gonzalez, Industrial & Systems Engineering
Shima Mohebbi, Industrial & Systems Engineering
The US government has increasingly emphasized resilience planning for critical infrastructure networks. Presidential Policy Directive 21 states that these networks “must be secure and able to withstand and rapidly recover from all hazards,” where the combination of “withstanding” and “recovering” from disruptions constitutes resilience. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the resilient operation of critical infrastructure networks is “essential to the Nation’s security, public health and safety, economic vitality, and way of life.” Governments across the globe have followed suit. Further, the resilience of communities after a disruptive event has become an important topic, acknowledging that infrastructures do not exist for their own sake but serve society (e.g., industries, citizens).
JMC 4303-001, JMC 5303-001, and MKT 4303-001
Debbie Yount, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
This Dream Course offers master class instruction from some of the great leaders and influencers who have shaped the global communications landscape and left their indelible mark on future generations.