Guide to the Records of Dartmouth College, Public Affairs, Great Issues Course, 1946 - 1967Manuscript DA-12


In 1946, John Sloan Dickey, President of the College, presented his concept for a course to be called Great Issues to the Committee on Educational Policy (CEP). The CEP accepted his concept and recommended its institution to the faculty, which approved the course on a provisional basis. An interdivisional committee (the Steering Committee) was created to plan and organize the course. The first Committee was comprised of John Sloan Dickey, Arthur Wilson, William Ballard, Arthur Jensen, Alex Laing, Earl Sikes, and John Clark as executive secretary (later replaced by Thomas Braden). Membership of the Committee always rotated and included faculty members from the Humanities, Social Science, and Science divisions, with one member being elected as the chairman/director of the course for the year. In 1954, the term of leadership was expanded to two years, and in 1961, Gene Lyons was hired specifically to direct the course and the Public Affairs Laboratory. The course, whose purpose was to "relate undergraduate education to the responsibilities of adult living" through a series of lectures and discussions meant to "present issues confronting the public-minded man who is concerned with the maintenance of a just peace, the building of a second economic order, and the search for values which will enable our culture to survive" (Dartmouth College ORC, 1947) was discontinued following the 1965-66 academic year. The course was originally required of seniors for the B.A. degree, and was replaced by the Senior Symposia and later the Student Forum.

Finding Aids