In the huge and impressive rotunda of Low Library, filled to capacity with SRO even after extra chairs were brought in, I admit I look a little like Sampson about to push down the pillars. In fact, that’s a bit of what we all were responding to, if our group Think-Pair-Share was any indication. The most common ways we want to “revolutionize” the university: change assessment (grades, test scores), make connections across the seemingly unmovable silos and, yes, pillars of these institutions, allow for myriad different ways of learning (not semesters, not just in class, not in standard course schedules), change labor relations, and on and on and on and on. Pretty much everything Charles Eliot and his peers designed in the late 19th century to make a new professional-managerial class needs to be “revolutionized” now. It’s had a good run.
Now, time to at least make a dent or two in the pillars or at least rethink the values they support and why and how and for what purpose . . . Special thanks to the Center for Teaching and Learning for organizing such an inspiring day. Onwards!