Our goal is to become a model of interdisciplinary interaction, innovative thinking, and creative teaching. CHAPS is committed to a curriculum of excellence, and ideally placed to pursue it. Rutgers’ geographic location puts it at the center of professional action within the field. Reflecting the rapidly changing demographic of 21st century America, our increasingly diverse population is at the center of engagement on issues of cultural heritage that will reshape how the nation sees its past and how it preserves that past for the future. Most international and national organizations maintain a presence in New York, providing outstanding opportunities for collaboration, not only at the teaching level and as potential sources of funding, but through research, internship, and field work opportunities.
With twenty-one historic properties now inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites, and many more pending, the United States has entered a new era of international engagement on issues of heritage preservation. Both governmental and non-governmental agencies dedicated to comprehensive planning and protection programs are engaging with preservation partners worldwide to develop successful protection strategies for the 21st century.
Crossing boundaries between the humanities and social sciences, and combining a rigorous academic program with opportunities for professional training through field work and internships, CHAPS aims to move Rutgers to the forefront of this rapidly expanding field. Awareness of the importance of protecting the world’s cultural patrimony-- its monuments, historic sites and cultural landscapes--is at a record level, and it is growing. CHAPS invites students to engage these issues and to join in developing strategies that will ensure the preservation of the past for the future.