The BTP has fostered the development of several new 'virtual' faculty exchanges over the last several years.
In September 2007, and again in September 2008, Brown Professor Dr. Timothy Empkie began teaching his course—Health of Hispaniola—at Tougaloo College. He was in residence several times during the semester with the remainder of the time spent at Brown. While at Brown, he kept in contact with the students utilizing distance learning technologies such as video conferencing, live chat, and MyCourse format and access. This new format allows professors the flexibility of maintaining esponsibilities at their home campus.
In September, 2008 Brown professor Geri Augusto, PhD, co-taught a new distance learning course with Tougaloo colleagues Steven Rozman, PhD, and James Stewart, PhD. The course, Local Political Cultures, New Electronic Practices and the 2008 Presidential Elections, was taught on both campuses with regular inter-institutional electronic 'conversations' based on readings and questions posed by faculty. This course was showcased at Brown in April, 2009, as an example of curricular innovation during an on-campus luncheon hosted by the Wayland Collegium. In addition, it fostered student requests for more courses in this type of format, and increased Tougaloo student interest in graduate school at Brown.
The Faculty Exchange Program has been a part of the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership (BTP) since inception. It is designed to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions by building faculty connections. This new virtual exchange is serving as a template for future course offerings by faculty on both campuses that can be cost effective and engage more students in scholarly activity on both campuses.
The Health of Hispaniola course is an interdisciplinary examination of Haiti and the Dominican Repubic that helps students understand why the two countries have such disparate health outcomes despite centuries of shared experience on one island. The course looks at the history, politics, economics, demography, international relations, culture, geography, epidemiology, and health services to demonstrate that multiple factors, some recent and many long-standing, determine the present health of these two populations. The examination of these countries, inextricably linked to each other and to the U.S., is of great interest to many students.