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Grossmont College Changes Pace: Political Economy Week

by Michael Higham, published

Every semester, Grossmont Community College holds a week long event known as Political Economy Week. The event opens up the doors to discuss relevant issues through the lens of expertise of Grossmont faculty, experts, activists, and those involved in making public policy nation-wide. Political Economy Week will be taking place on the week of October 29th for the Fall 2012 semester.

Events replace the usual time of a political science or economics class for a week. This makes it easy for students to attend and faculty to participate. To ensure that students engage in Political Economy Week, department instructors require their students to attend at least two events for every political science and economics course on their schedule. Students then write a short paper per event. The papers' content can range from a simple summary to an in-depth critique.

A former student of Grossmont College, who is set to graduate from San Diego State University next year, had this to say about the event:

It was an interesting experience being able to hear political views from across the political spectrum. We are also able to hear the personal views of professors and instructors who ordinarily keep their political stances out of their lectures.

Dr. Todd Myers is a professor of political science and economics at Grossmont College. He is also an adjunct professor at San Diego State University for Asian studies. When asked what Political Economy Week means to him:

For me, Political Economy Week is special because it opens up students to the political and economic ideas of the their current civic lives. It offers them the possibility of better understanding the realities of our economic and political landscape. I love to see the diverse perspectives of my students as they encounter the thoughts of those who are seriously involved in political deliberations.

He was also asked why those outside of Grossmont College should attend the events:

The events are open to the community as part of the public mission of the community colleges to create a better informed citizenry. Anyone who loves politics and wants to get a little deeper than the surface would benefit by stopping by Grossmont during Political Economy Week.

San Diego County Board of Education candidate Gregg Robinson is also an instructor at Grossmont College. He participates as a lecturer and presenter during Political Economy Week. For several past semesters, he participated in health care discussion about market and government solutions to reform. As an associate professor of Sociology, he brings a perspective of group dynamics to the political discussion.

The Grossmont/Cuyamaca Community College District has a bond measure on the ballot this November known as Proposition V. The measure is a $398 million bond for a comprehensive infrastructure and technology upgrade. The bond money is restricted from faculty salary and subject to annual independent financial audits. Education budgets are tight and to ensure the money is not wasted, a citizen oversight committee would keep track of expenditures

Political economy week was founded over forty years ago by recently retired Grossmont economics professor Wilford Cummings. Over the years, Grossmont faculty has had leaders in the fields of economics from the National Bureau of Economic Research participate. The department has also included public intellectuals from across the political spectrum such as Dinesh D'Souza and Chalmers Johnson.

Department of Political Economy at Grossmont College

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