You are here

End Note

Seizing opportunity in a time of crisis can be risky, but in the depths of the recent recession, Muhlenberg College (Pa.) made a bold move, launching three very ambitious construction projects with the potential to strengthen the college's competitive position swiftly and dramatically. The project's an addition to our student union, a music/dance rehearsal space, and a multipurpose addition to our Hillel House that included new offices for our sociology/anthropology department - totaled more than $27 million.

Innovation is not a term typically used within higher education circles. Rich in tradition and history, American higher education has been sometimes labeled a bureaucratic, traditionally mired venture that does not change with the times. But this generalization is, in so many ways, incorrect. We have one of the most innovative and complex postsecondary systems in the world, with breadth and depth in our educational delivery.

College admission is not on the same life-or-death scale as the Detroit underwear bomber, but it sometimes seems like it. Most recently, The University of Chicago's admission dean, James Nondorf, set off a mini-firestorm in December when he e-mailed an applicant's response to the "Why Chicago?" essay question to students nationwide.

The recently concluded holiday break wasn't much fun for those very bright but struggling freshmen students who got their first taste ever of academic failure.

IN THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, most of us have read any number of time management articles that focus on how easy it is to become a slave to e-mail. Most of these discuss the discipline required by executives, including university administrators, to keep the handling of e-mail from distracting us from our primary function--that of providing leadership. It is my contention that time management issues are but the tip of the iceberg.

At Lafayette, move-out days mean no items left behind.

THE FIRST WORD THAT SPRINGS to mind in conjunction with the phrase “liberal arts education” is not “technology.” In the 21st century, however, it should.

Historically, liberal arts colleges have not placed a heavy emphasis on technology, either in the curriculum or as a teaching tool. But we hit a tipping point earlier this decade on liberal arts campuses. Not a single young person on our campus can remember life before the internet. If we don’t teach even our most traditional courses—humanities, history, literature—using today’s technology, we are probably failing as educators.

A YEAR AGO THIS SPRING, AS we dedicated the new Julia Thompson Smith Chapel on our campus, one of the highlights was the multifaith blessing. It was an exciting occasion, the completion of the first freestanding chapel in the 120-year history of Agnes Scott College (Ga.). I reflected on months of watching from my office window as it went from nothing more than a hole in the ground to the beautiful building it is today.


THERE IS A NEW "SIN" INDUSTRY on college campuses. It’s not beer, fast food, or tobacco. It’s water! Universities around the nation have begun to deny students the option of drinking bottled water, removing it from vending machines and campus stores.