SSRC president Alondra Nelson visited a number of College and University Fund member institutions during the 2017–2018 academic year—including Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Swarthmore College, Indiana University, Arizona State University, the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, Santa Cruz—at each exploring issues such as the future of the social sciences, diversity in the academy, research methodology, and interdisciplinarity.

Nelson met with administrators, faculty, and students to discuss issues confronting social scientists (and social-scientists-to-be) nationally and globally and share her vision for the SSRC and how the organization might help address these challenges. In these conversations, Nelson reiterated the Council’s commitment to working to ensure the integrity and accessibility of research. At Northwestern, Nelson also spoke in Graduate School dean Teresa K. Woodruff’s Dean’s Lecture Series, addressing directors of graduate studies on the topic of interdisciplinarity in doctoral training, drawing on the SSRC’s long tradition of cultivating research and collaboration across fields. At UC Davis, President Nelson was pleased to meet with Elizabeth Spiller, dean of the College of Letters and Science. Her visit to the University of Chicago was hosted by Amanda Woodward, dean of the Division of the Social Sciences, and Mark Bradley, deputy dean, and included a lively discussion with faculty and students on diversity in higher education as well as meetings with faculty in the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, History, Genetics, and Comparative Human Behavior. The visit to Swarthmore was hosted by President Valerie Smith. The host institution invited leaders of neighboring Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges to participate in the discussions. Often, these visits culminated with Nelson delivering a public lecture about her research on science, technology, and racial inequality.

In fall 2018, Nelson will visit New York University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.