1. Working on: The campus master plan committees have wrapped up their work; this morning campus leaders are sharing the guiding principles developed by the committees, with the President’s Cabinet and community leaders. As a member and chair of the committee on academic and instructional space, I am eager to see how the community responds to principles our group worked on. While our group advocated for flexible, high quality classrooms, it also called for much greater emphasis on developing informal, flexible, visible and neutral meeting spaces and commons throughout the academic core of the campus.
2. Excited about: The next step in our strategic planning work. Today ExTeam is meeting with EGG and I expect we’ll share EGG’s report out with everyone within the next couple of days (though you can sneak a preview on the wiki now!). Our goal in spring quarter is to take the many strands of insight, aspiration, and environmental input from this report, and weave them into a brief 5-7 year “horizon report” that lays out where we’ll be going, together. Having this plan will keep our energies focused and our work both manageable and high impact. I see lots of emphasis in EGG’s report on making good choices based on our strengths and what the campus values.
3. Thinking about: I’m almost done reading Glaeser’s Triumph of the City. One bit that’s stuck with me: Glaeser talks about Jevons complementarity corollary: “more efficient information technology makes information learned face-to-face more valuable.” Jevons was a 19th c. mathematician who described the paradox that efficiency improvements lead to more, not less, consumption. Glaeser extrapolates that: “as we acquire more efficient means of transmitting information, like email or Skype, we spend more, not less, time transmitting information.” All our virtual interactions are creating a more relationship-intensive world that is dying for more face to face time.
Have a great weekend.