Center for Values and Social Policy
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Message from the Director

Welcome to the Center for Values and Social Policy

This is an exciting time to be involved with the Center for Values and Social Policy. The Center was established by the Philosophy Department at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1980 with two explicit objectives in mind: to support research about normative issues that are closely connected to matters of social policy and to support graduate and undergraduate teaching about such issues. During this past year, after a good deal of discussion, the Philosophy Department amended its bylaws to make explicit two important further objectives: to support public outreach about these issues and to collaborate with other units on campus outside of the Department. As a result, in the coming years, the Center aspires to increase its contributions to research, teaching, and public outreach about values and social policy, to expand its presence outside of the Philosophy Department, and to become the central hub on campus for the discussion of matters involving values and social policy.

We made a good deal of progress toward these goals this past year. The Center organized a wider variety of events than it had in previous years on such issues of public concern as religious liberty, climate justice, school choice, commodification, treatment of the Deaf community, and immigration. And in doing so, it collaborated with a larger number of other units on campus than it previously had, including the Departments of Religious Studies, Ethnic Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Political Science, and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, the Program in Environmental Studies, the Center for Western Civilization, Thought and Policy, the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies, the School of Education, the GLBTQ Resource Center, the LGBTQ Studies Certificate Program, and the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment. We also introduced a new Faculty Fellows program, reaching out to CU Boulder faculty outside of the Department whose teaching and research include a significant focus on issues involving values and social policy. We launched a new blog and a new Facebook page. And we revived our long-dormant Visiting Fellows program, bringing accomplished scholars to campus for extended visits during which they gave talks, did guest presentations in classes, and made themselves available for informal interactions with our faculty and students.

We hope to build on this momentum in the coming years, developing new partnerships, engaging in further kinds of activities, and further extending our reach across the campus and beyond. If you would like to be involved in the Center, contribute to it in some way, make suggestions for new kinds of events or collaborations it might engage in within the campus or beyond, or simply have questions about the Center's mission and its activities, please contact me at I would be happy to hear from you and welcome your feedback.


David Boonin
Professor of Philosophy
Director, Center for Values and Social Policy


David Boonin

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