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2017-2018 Common Read Learning Activites

This LibGuide is an easy way to access all of the Learning Activities available for Out of Chaos, the 2017-2018 Common Read.

James F. Nickerson, Mankato State College President

For background on President James F. Nickerson at Mankato State College, read the following sections in Out of Chaos

1. Reflections  (pp. 31-37)
2. Kent Alm  (pp. 39-44)
3. Mehr Jay Shahidi  (pp. 130-136)
4. Roger Smith  (pp. 144-151)

Nickerson's Reflections

A. In the Reflections segment of the book, Out of Chaos, President Nickerson reflects on many things that occurred on the Mankato State College campus and in the city of Mankato.

  1. According to Nickerson, when did campus unrest appear in Mankato?
  2. What happened to U.S. senator Scoop Jackson when he spoke on the Mankato campus?
    • Do you think the student's behavior was appropriate?  Please explain.
    • Do you think Nickerson's behavior was appropriate?  Please explain.
  3. In Nickerson's opinion what was the most infamous event to occur locally in the late 1960s and early 1970s?
    • What actions did Nickerson take?  Were they effective?  Why or why not.
    • What were Nickerson's feelings concerning what was happening during the event?
    • What was the outcome of the event?  Was anyone hurt or arrested?
  4. In the Reflections section Nickerson describes two student take-overs of the Old Main administration building.
    • Where were President Nickerson and his wife during the second take-over of Old Main?
    • How long did students occupy the building?
    • What actions were taken that broke the agreement between the administration and the students?
  5. On page 37 what was the attitude of officials, monitors, and others in contact with the demonstrators? 
    • Was this approach conventional or unconventional?
    • How did the "Mankato approach" affect the protesters?

Faculty and Student Perspectives on Nickerson

B.  According to Kent Alm's segment of Out of Chaos,

  1. What was President Nickerson's relationship with Chancellor G. Theodore Mitau?
  2. What was Kent Alm, Vice President of Student Affairs, opinion of Chancellor G. Theodore Mitau? 
  3. What was Kent Alm's opinion of President Nickerson?
  4. In your opinion how would Nickerson and Mitau's relationship effect their ability to work together? 

C.  H. Roger Smith writes about Nickerson's leadership at Mankato State College.

  1. What are some of the innovational ideas and programs that Nickerson brought to MSC?
  2. What kind of innovational ideas and programs would you like to see happening on the Mankato campus today?

D. What was MSC student Mehr Jay Shahidi's opinion of President Nickerson?  

E.  According to Shahidi, on page 135, how did President Nickerson include student leaders in dealing with protesters?

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