Religion and the Public University Collaborative

Planning meeting June 6, 2019, 10:00. Location: 106 Northrop

The role of religion on public university campuses has changed significantly in the 21st century as religious identity has been afforded increasing significance in the intersectional selves of students, faculty, and staff. While this is a positive development for many, changing attitudes toward religion have also spurred conflict and raised challenges that in some cases administrators are at a loss to address. The Religion and the Public University collaborative will bring together faculty, staff, and graduate students from several Twin Cities and coordinate campus units of the University of Minnesota to research the historical, legal, and sociological scholarship on the religion/public university relationship and to use that material to provide context for discussions and deliberations that it will host, aimed at disseminating information and developing guidelines or best practices advice for managing this complicated relationship.

This collaborative will meet regularly as a reading group through the 2019-20 academic year. It will develop an online conversation devoted to these issues, host campus-wide conversations on the topic, and develop a staff workshop. 


Jeanne Kilde, Director, Religious Studies Program, CLA

Virajita Singh, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of Equity and Diversity



Penny Edgell, Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Social Sciences, CLA

Aisha Ghani, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies, CLA

Jennifer Alexander, Associate Professor, History of Science, Technology and Medicine, CSE

Katharine Gerbner, McKnight Land Grant Professor 2018-2010 and Assistant Professor of History, CLA

Artyom Tonoyan, Research Associated, Institute for Global Studies, CLA

Sharon Fischlowitz, Attorney, Sussman & Parkhurst, Minneapolis, MN