Intellectual Vision & History

Our intellectual vision is based on the premise that no singular body of theory provides us the guiding doctrines of analysis leading to the formation of research initiatives. Rather these initiatives that incorporate qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques must be inclusive of multidimensional theoretical constructs, multi-methodological approaches, and be hosts of experimentation and synergy. There is a shared singular principle: the discovery of the specific arenas and relations that develop structures of inequality and differential access to intellectual, economic, ecological, social, and political resources. These create a differentiated outcome for human populations that must be overcome if a civil society is to emerge. From this theoretically driven research initiative, a foundation emerges for the development of operational programs and projects that seek to mitigate the effects of such disequilibria. Crucial in this process is the actual participation of the populations so affected in the programmatic design and its accompanying activities. In this process, praxis and participation in the unfolding activities of programs are necessary and sufficient conditions and serve as the basis of the “experiment” so to speak. Importantly, using multiple measures and analytical techniques, assessments and evaluation of outcomes are crucial to determine the efficacy of the theoretically driven program. It is at this point that careful analysis attempts to gauge the short and long-term impacts of the operational activities of the program. Lastly, all collected data, then “feeds back” as a means to determine the manner in which the concluding findings enhance, change, negate or support the theoretical and methodological constructs used to organize the original research and development project. This systematic approach applies across individual fields and creates the basis for synergetic fertilization of theory, method, and practice among the participating faculty and their respective departments. Because the faculty will be appointed both in a relevant academic department and the Ernesto Galarza Applied Research Center, the research and development opportunities for actual synergy is much more probable given the mission of the Center and the obligation for each of the faculty to introduce his/her applied orientation within their individual departments.