I started at Indiana University in August 1994, two years after completing my Ph.D. in history and following two years as a “visiting professor” at the Institute for Population Research in Rome (a division of the Italian National Research Council). For 17 years I followed the usual model: teaching during the fall and spring semesters, concentration on research and writing during the summers and occasional leaves as I published several monographs and progressed from assistant to associate to full professor. Eventually, though, I felt ready other challenges and when I heard about the search for a new director at the Collins Living Learning Center I applied and was appointed starting in fall 2011, a choice I have not regretted. Collins is a special place. It was founded in 1972 (as simply the LLC; there weren’t others at IU or really anywhere else at the time) in response to demands from students for a greater role in creating their academic, extracurricular, and social environments. Founded at what was then still called the Men’s Residence Center (MRC), the LLC came to occupy the whole of the MRC quad and was eventually renamed Collins LLC. Collins is constantly changing but I think continues to fulfill the intentions of its founders. Upper division students teach first-year students in the 1-cr Q class where the new residents learn about Collins and IU; the Board of Educational Programming picks a slate of classes from a pool of applicants every semester that constitute the Collins seminars; first and second year Collinsites agree to take one seminar per year to fulfill their residential commitment. In recent years the Collins Sustainable Food Committee has been meeting every two weeks or so to cook, talk, and meet with an invited guest from the local food world (scholars, chefs, farmers, restauranteurs et al.). These and other activities and programs make Collins a cohesive community (of about 400 students) that finds no parallel at IU. I could go on, but better to consult the Collins web site itself to understand more. My tenure as Collins director ended in July 2018 so that I could concentrate on the Food Institute. I was sorry to leave Collins and will keep this page up for any who might be curious. Hopefully I'll stay involved in some capacity

 

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