The University has given seed funding to the Power, Violence and Inequality Collective, a group that proposes to bring together faculty from throughout the University to sponsor research and activities related to power, violence and inequality. The collective was proposed by Politics Professors Denise Walsh and Nicholas Winter in September 2015. According to the proposal, the collective will create a highly visible institutional home for power, violence and inequality research by developing research, fostering coordination across disciplines, providing consultation on PVI for the University curriculum and distributing research to shape practice, policy and advocacy locally and beyond. John Carfango, director of communications for the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, said the collective could grow to be a national leader in advancing the study of power and violence. “Standing up this initiative would provide an interdisciplinary home for scholars to advance excellence in research, mentorship and teaching focused on violence of power and inequality, and ideally, it would foster collaboration in these areas across disciplines, methods and academic units,” Carfango said on behalf of Dean of Arts and Sciences Ian Baucom in an email statement. The collective arrives as part of the discussion surrounding sexual assault taking place at the University and at campuses throughout the country and follows President Teresa Sullivan’s call to the University to “dedicate ourselves to becoming a model institution” in preventing and responding to violence, particularly gender-based violence. “Issues of power are strongly connected to issues of sexual assault,” Carfango said. “To the extent that this initiative touches on research that intersects with University policies, the College would strongly support collaboration with Student Affairs and other units across Grounds.” According to the collective’s proposal, the collective’s research will focus on several broad themes, including globalization, the criminal justice system and intersections of race, gender and ethnicity. The proposal also indicates the collective’s plan to develop a keynote conference in late spring 2016. The conference will bring scholars, educators and practitioners from across the University to reveal the year’s activities and develop excitement for the future of the Institute. The University is currently considering proposals for a University-wide institute, Carfango said. The proposed PVI Institute would sponsor activities relating to power, violence and inequality — including a high-profile speaker series, research talk series, research funding providing grants for faculty research, a summer research grant program, visiting scholars and a postdoctoral fellowship program. With funding from the College, the PVI Collective plans to use the remainder of the 2015-16 academic year building momentum toward founding a University-wide institute during the 2016-17 academic year.