University Launches the Center for Collaborative Knowledge

A fully faculty-driven enterprise, the Center for Collaborative Knowledge has been designated one of the 10 major initiatives in the 2025 Strategic Plan.  Its mission is to inspire interdisciplinary research, teaching, and conversation on the LSU campus. The CCK will help generate and fund collaborative projects which cross colleges and involve faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates, intensifyingthe university’s central function as a place where ideas and expertise are shared across all colleges, and between generations.  We hope in this way to re-energize our campus community, and to give LSU’s faculty and students the opportunities, incentives, and aspirations to ‘think big.’

This project is already up and running, and has sponsored a number of events.  We are initiating the launch of three major collaborative projects: 1) The Human Coast; 2) Art, Materials, and Money; and 3) The Aristotle Update.  For more information on these projects, please see the website.  Our biggest inaugural event will be a two-day interdisciplinary conference, to which you are all invited, on the subject of: Sustainable Cities and Communities 

The conference will take place Thursday and Friday, April 12-13, and take place in the Coast and Environment Building (Thursday) and the Ogden Honors College (Friday).  The conference features keynote talks from internationally-known scholars in computer science, religion, anthropology, ecology and creative writing to explore the challenges of life in modern cities and focus on opportunities for future growth and sustainability.  The issues raised in the keynote lectures will be explored more fully in three panel discussions led by experts from the LSU community and the greater Baton Rouge – New Orleans area. They will discuss such topics as technology and urban design, the future of urban policing and race, and the urban environment, in both its physical and cultural dimensions.

For a full list of participants and session times and titles, please see our website, We will also host a student (graduate and undergraduate) poster display on Thursday, April 12, in conjunction with the conference; all interested in offering a poster for display should contact Prof. Fernando Galvez (

For all of its current projects, and to generate new projects and ideas, we would like to enlist your interest and participation.  To get involved, or to request more information, please feel free to contact any of the members of our Advisory Board (see below), or to email us at  We would also like to invite you to an Open House at our new Center office, LSU Library, room 25 (basement), Monday, March 5, 1-4 p.m.  Drop by for more information and informal conversation with our Advisory Board members!  This initiative depends upon the ingenuity and involvement of our whole campus community.  We can’t do this (and we wouldn’t want to) without you!

Looking forward too many new conversations and collaborations,

Suzanne Marchand, LSU Systems Boyd Professor of History, and the CCK Advisory Board:

Prosanta Chakrabarty, Associate Professor and Curator of Fishes, Museum of Natural Science
Craig E. Colten, Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography;
Jonathan H. Earle, Roger Hadfield Ogden Dean, Ogden Honors College;
Fernando Galvez, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences;
Marwan Ghandour, Director of the School of Architecture;
Martin Johnson, Kevin P. Reilly Sr. Chair in Political Communication;
Michael T. Pasquier, Jaak Seynaeve Professor of Christian Studies;
John A. Pojman, Professor of Macromolecular Science, Department of Chemistry;
Darius A. Spieth, Professor of Art History;
James R. Stoner, Jr., Professor of Political Science and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute;
R. Eugene Turner, LSU Systems Boyd Professor of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences;
Richard D. White, Jr., Dean, E.J. Ourso College of Business;
Clinton S. Willson, Mike N. Dooley PE Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering;
Michelle Zerba, Maggie B. Martin Professor of Rhetoric and Classical Studies