Curriculum ideas from Kami

Note: Kami Rowan initially posted this as a comment to the last faculty meeting page, but she asked me to post it as a full message.

Friends, given Dave’s message this evening about the need to take action that is bolder, more visible, more immediate and more sustainable, several faculty have begun to compile a list of steps we believe would meet the challenge put before us. This is not a moment that is unclear to us: instead, we know we must act with courage and conviction to be the college we know we must become. We believe our faculty can lead the college and we wish to begin soliciting new bolder ideas from the experience and passion we bring to our work.

To this end, we wish to begin the next step in our work by sharing the list below. These are even bolder ideas, said in small groups but that we believe must move from the fringe to the center of our work.

1. No Grades
Embracing a staged and flexible sense of success where students have a role in determining and defining their own success

2. Year-around college to promote a three-year degree
Providing accelerated paths for our best-prepared students and additional opportunities for our least-prepared students to succeed. This commitment signals that Guilford College is here year-around for any student willing to do the work. Such a year-around college can structure the schedule, calendar and experiences to support the real-world engagement that begins together (first-year) and ends with a culminating project.

3. Second Major based in real world problem and student passion (“Q”)
Every student’s real-world project is just as important as anything else at Guilford. While students must take 30 credit hours of general education learning and a disciplinary major, we believe a student project reflecting a passion for a real-world problem through design thinking must represent a pillar of this new experience. This project, over three years, should be the equivalent of a second major and be focused on engagement both on- and off-campus. This second major should have a unique label and name, perhaps a student’s “Q”.

4. Every First Year student has an immersive study away or abroad year one.
Every first year student would have an opportunity to have a deep and meaningful experience during some form of immersive study their first semester or year.

5. Everyone in our community supports each other.
From Day One, each student will be supported by a student doing a signature work in the final year at Guilford. This student will be a peer adviser for understanding the user experience for developing one’s Q project in the years ahead. As our first-year student passes through the first two semesters at Guilford, this senior will help provide valuable one-on-one coaching and support, regardless of major or project, given the common user experience training.


  1. Items 1, 2, and 4 have no recognizable connection to the Art and Science research.

    Item 1 is already potentially in the Lego plan, but there it is a measured approach following study and consultation, which is what faculty discussion during faculty meeting suggested we do.

    Item 3 is a slightly larger footprint version of Components #1 and #3 in the Lego plan coupled with the credentialing Nancy suggested last Wednesday, including unspecified cuts of at least 2-4 additional classes from Gen Ed, and not addressing the issue of students who want or need to do departmental capstone projects or theses.

    Item 4 has no accompanying details or structure, but it might come with significant cost or calendar disruption.

    Item 5 was in LAGER and might well be how we implemented Component #1 of the Lego plan.

    I fail to see how these ideas are significantly “bolder” than what we proposed, or how they address the research findings.

    These ideas were presented directly by a group of faculty to Jane on Monday without faculty approval and without ever having been previously discussed, immediately before I arrived to present the faculty-approved plan. Instead of presenting our plan, I had to spend significant time trying to understand what these ideas were and where they came from, and then being forced to respond to these ideas that had emerged hours before, that I had never seen and that the faculty had never discussed, rather than addressing the plan faculty approved that I take to Jane.

    To me, this represents a significant subversion of our governance process, and it possibly scuttled any opportunity to make progress with or get feedback on the approved faculty proposal.

  2. (Note – this is from Mark Justad, but it has Dave’s photo because it was initially posted to a different spot on the site and I had to move it.)

    My comments below are in response to Kami’s suggestion #3 that reads:

    3. Second Major based in real world problem and student passion (“Q”)
    Every student’s real-world project is just as important as anything else at Guilford. While students must take 30 credit hours of general education learning and a disciplinary major, we believe a student project reflecting a passion for a real-world problem through design thinking must represent a pillar of this new experience. This project, over three years, should be the equivalent of a second major and be focused on engagement both on- and off-campus. This second major should have a unique label and name, perhaps a student’s “Q”.

    My comments:

    I believe that Guilford is a place that does many things very well. Among these things, and I would argue one of the best among the things we do, is that we meet students where they are and guide them toward a maturity of thought and action that can–and does–change their world and the world in which they live. This growth is not always evident in obvious ways nor does this maturity necessarily take hold in the short time our students are with us. It is, however, something that I believe we do well and I confess I feel privileged that Guilford allows me to be an educator that has a small part in this undertaking we often call “transformational”.

    I am in full support of Kami’s suggestion #3. This can and should be a major “next-gen” undertaking for Guilford. Make no mistake, this is a major undertaking that will take substantial organizational development and leadership to accomplish. And this brief suggestion offers only a few of the kinds of things that will need to be undertaken to add this component to every student’s education. However, we have many curricular and extra-curricular pieces in place that can help mold and launch an effort of this nature in a manner that will reflect the best of who and what we are.

    The world, of course, needs our students and alums to do good and great things. Perhaps now more than ever? I am convinced that implementing a program that helps each of our students to leave us with a sophisticated and engaged understanding of a complex concern will equip them do so.

    • Mark speaks my mind, or rather sparks my interest, although i don’t think Kami is taking credit for this idea. And as I’ve said before, I’m very much interested in exploring the idea of no grades. Seems pretty bold to me. I’m becoming increasingly concerned that we are trying to quantify or measure boldness, rather than allowing creativity and intuition to flow in what I acknowledge is a stressful and rushed process. Some of us are naturally going to be anxious and uncomfortable with what has got to be a messy process. But some of us are energized and inspired by the unknown and discomfort. Inspiration and creativity don’t always fall in line with timelines and procedure when a deadline is imposed. I hope we can embrace rather than fight the way in which this is unfolding.

      • I beg to differ with the idea that we should embrace “bold changes” without careful consideration of the implications or even a consensual understanding of what we mean by bold. Boldness can go in many disparate directions and asking for clarification is not akin to fear of change. Assessment of the potential consequences of decisions we make is not a sign of timidity and is not antithetical with creativity. I’ve seen many examples of “bold changes” just recently, specifically in the U.S., but also abroad, that have negatively affected many. There’s much at stake, as the examples of some schools’ proof, where similar boldness has resulted in the loss of jobs along with no improvement in recruitment, retention, financial stability and academic quality. I’m not opposed to change. Yet I don’t think it’s very sensible to constrict the space to ask critical questions while making decisions about far-reaching institutional changes by intuition, without a clear rationale about the wisdom or effectiveness of what we propose to change. I need to add that I’m deeply disturbed by the fact that a group of colleagues met with Jane to present/discuss a new curriculum proposal without consultation with the corporate faculty — after we had taken pains to reach an agreement about what we’d propose. I totally agree with Dave’s point that this subverts the governance process.

        • Friend speaks my mind.

        • Friend speaks my mind. I deeply appreciate your comment, Maria.

        • I hear your concerns, Maria, but what I meant is that we should embrace potential solutions as they bubble up, regardless of when that idea bubbles up. I don’t know that any clarification beyond “bold” is going to be revealed to us. I don’t think it’s a sign of fear or weakness to ask for clarification – I simply don’t think there is an answer. If we could come to a consensual understanding as to what bold means, we should have done that early on. But I don’t think we can or should, I don’t know what happened Monday in Jane’s office, but I gather that Lego didn’t blow Jane away. Not bold enough. Now what do we do? Move forward, because we have to. I see some old and some new suggestions above in Kami’s post (regardless of how they got there, but it doesn’t look like a curriculum proposal to me – it looks like a string of ideas), and I think I see some “bold” potential that we should explore. I would love to hear from colleagues who have studied inspiration, the creative process, design, marketing, etc. I think it’s very valid to acknowledge that our charge from Jane is to engage thoughtfully and quickly in the creative process, which by necessity involves as much clarity and critique as it does imagination.

          • Thanks for your reply, Wendy. I also hear the points you’re making and appreciate your desire to move us forward in this important process. I must say, however, that I’m still not compelled by the idea that we’re charged with making fateful changes, yet we can expect no clarification beyond the term “bold.” The issue has been raised in past meetings and forums. I think that having received no specific answers does not mean that there is no answer. I have substantive questions and reservations about the ideas outlined by Kami, but we can hardly have a conducive conversation by relying on unqualified terms – a term we’re using as golden standard for rethinking our curriculum. Dave mentioned in his e-mail that Frank will meet with administrators to compile recommendations. I look forward to hearing them and their supporting rationale, and hope we’ll prioritize inclusive debate over designated deadlines.

        • Friend speaks my mind.

  3. If faculty are to retain a meaningful place in the partnership of shared governance at Guilford College, we would do well to continue to do both what Kami and Maria suggest: we can continue to provide our inspiration and innovation and ask the critical questions needed to ensure quality learning. We can, and must, do both.

    I have been energized by the work we have done for years as a faculty and know that we need our administrative colleagues to help us take our joint work to the next level. We should not fear this partnership. It is the only way change can happen and for us to grow out of this current crisis. I am encouraged by the ideas that Kami has posted here. While there are ideas I would add to this, even bolder ideas like one-course-at-a-time that I’ve studied with Betty Kane, Jim Hood, Mark Dixon and others, let’s not fear the road ahead and look for too much clarity before we begin.

    I agree with Wendy: let’s embrace this moment in trust and creativity.

    • I posted my previous comment before noticing that Kyle had chipped in. Thanks for your comments and encouragement, Kyle. I’m not sure what “too much clarity” is, in all honesty; but I appreciate your efforts to find some common grounds. I don’t want to become redundant by reiterating issues I’ve already raised. I’ll just underline my hope for an inclusive debate when we next meet.

      • The conversation here, Maria, is just what we need. To be sure, each of us seeks some clarity in the work we do, but, like any admirable impulse, we can take our quest for clarity too far, particularly before our work even begins. How can we as faculty leaders balance the two? As educators, we know that people learn by doing and that courses and assignments change as our students teach us about their experience. We should bring the same mix of critical questioning and trusting innovation to this work: make the best plans we can now and remain open to reforming and remixing as we move ahead. What I appreciate about the spirit Kami, Wendy, Mark and others are bringing here is that it is positive, forward-looking, and a little scary. My work is energized by these contributions and I hope others join the conversation with other ideas in the days ahead. Maria, what ideas do you think would help get us closer to meeting this challenge?

        • 1. First, I think we need to stop and think for a moment about the standards we’re using to move in any given direction and evaluate their soundness. For a while, now, a significant part of our discussion has revolved around what makes us happy or excited, which are not adequate criteria in policy-making.
          2. It would have served us well to have an open discussion about our identity and how to adapt the recommendations of the Arts & Sciences consultants to our values and mission (a suggestion Tom Guthrie and others have made several times).
          3. We should give more center-stage in our debates to such fundamental criteria as academic integrity and rigor, learning outcomes, analytical skills we expect to foster in our students, and the comparative effectiveness of the changes we’re proposing in pursuing a transformative learning process.
          4. As with any other project, it’s important to assess the feasibility of whatever changes we propose according to available resources, access to administrative support, preparedness of instructors and corresponding faculty development needs.
          5. We should make conscious and explicit decisions about the type of students we want to serve. I liked Bob Williams’ point during our last faculty meeting about the suitability of our curricular proposal to minority, adult, and first-generation college students. I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ve not seen it factored-in in our debates and propositions.
          4. We should have a plan to ensure the sustainability of the new curriculum. For example:
          – How will we handle such cases as students who do not have a defined passion and/or change interests/interdisciplinary projects in the course of their studies? When our students decide to change majors in their second or third year it’s not easy to implement the necessary adjustments to make this possible in a timely manner. How easy would it be to change tracks and how disruptive would it be for the student? What standards will be used to determine whether the courses they took in a specific track/topical area are translatable to the one they’re changing to?
          – How will we ensure the stability of the curriculum as new generations with new sets of interests join Guilford? Would we have to be in a constant state of curricular revision? What would it take to make such continuous adjustments in terms of time, resources, energy of our faculty, and coordination with the Curriculum committee or whatever body oversees and approves new courses?
          – What would be the impact on majors (as in programs), many of which are able to populate their required courses with students who are not majors in that particular field, but take the class to fulfill other requirements? Would majors/programs have to accommodate their curriculum to the needs of multidisciplinary projects? Will some programs disappear and, if so, do we have any concerns about job-loss of colleagues who have given their career life to Guilford?
          5. To pursue the goal of collaborative/hands-on learning, we could have started by evaluating what Guilford is already doing (Bonner, Schools in Prison, JPS community programs and others that Julie Burke cited in her post sometime back). I agree with Julie’s point: we could do better at making such programs more visible, highlighting their centrality to our mission, and intentionally creating bridges between the work of those programs and the many experiential learning projects our colleagues undertake in their classes.
          6. Rather than disrupting the entire curriculum and trusting that things will go well, we could start in a pilot mode. For example, create one or two interdisciplinary minors centered around such “real world issues” (which many of our courses are already exploring) and start building from there.
          I’ve borrowed from what other colleagues have proposed, which speaks to the fact that alternative ways of thinking about this have been suggested, but my sense is that not enough attention has been given to them. This was a rather quick attempt to address Kyle’s question, but I believe there’s more to be said about underlying philosophy, feasibility, possible ramifications, decision-making process, and alternative ideas, even if they are not a step up on the scale of boldness.
          I need to stop here. Thanks, Kyle, for prompting this exchange.

  4. Woke up with this in my head today:


    We go to a 12-3. We do away with departments, and form 6 Centers instead (only examples below, NOT names or ideas meant to be set in concrete), with faculty that might serve more than one Center, or at least not be limited to one area:

    The Center for Business and Technology
    The Center for Arts and Creativity
    The Center for Social and Justice Studies
    The Center for Science and the Environment
    The Center for Global Culture and Diversity
    The Center for Principled Problem-Solving

    Every year, during the 2 three-week immersives, the ENTIRE COLLEGE is focused on two of these. Random example/ordering only:

    2018-19: Art (Fall), Social (Spring)
    2019-20 Business (Fall) Global (Spring)
    2020-21: Problem-Solving (Fall) Science (Spring)

    Students must take 6 three-week immersives, one in each area.

    The immersives are team-taught.

    These immersives are our Gen Ed. We care about our Gen Ed so much, we want you to focus on nothing else during that time. (Cornell College and other one-course-at-a-time schools could be helpful models here.)

    Only once every three years does a Center and its affiliated faculty have to come up with a bunch of amazing stuff/classes for that immersive period. But the WHOLE COLLEGE is devoted to it during that semester, and we do not have to limit participation to “obvious” faculty (for example, with approval from the Chair of the Center for Business and Technology, Mylène could do an immersive on “Storytelling and Selling Your Business Idea to the World.”

    We would need two Centers to step up and get this started next year. People who are already rarin’ to go, dying to go, willing to blaze the path.

    Reduced teaching load, compensation, SOMETHING for the Centers having to do that work in any given year, and especially the Chair.

    With 6 blocks covered every three years, that leaves two other three-week blocks over the course of a four-year degree. I am not sure how we would use those. Maybe your last two are for your signature project, for doing an actual job or internship, or _____. But in your senior year, you are doing something amazing with those two 3-week immersives. (Or maybe you failed one and now have time to catch up.) Because you are getting ready for your next step. Different majors could use them differently, maybe. I don’t know. But you are feeling your center and finding and claiming your edge. Maybe it’s a GUS-like thing. Maybe GUS is the Seventh Center.

    You still have a major. I don’t know if you have minor.

    Transfer students can still bring Gen Ed credit but have to do at least X number of immersives on campus.

    Certain requirements–quant lit, language, freshman writing, etc.–may not be taught during an immersive.

    It is the “Community Wednesday Event” idea on steroids. It is the Lager 1-week immersive on steroids. It is Collaborative. Team-based and Advised. Community Spirit-oriented. Ethically Focused. Like the Art & Science recommendations.

    Every semester, this incredible, end of term. three-week celebration and exploration. Some immersives might be off-campus/traveling. But we are ALL, together, thinking about, say, Science and the Environment. In whatever ways the many faculty members of that block what to approach it. Different courses, sure. But all of us at the same time thinking about one Center. With some big convocation at the end. Maybe seniors with majors in that Center present then. Or we all spend a day cleaning the campus environment or Greensboro. In our Guilford LOVE t-shirts. I don’t know.

    During the 12 weeks everybody still gets to teach what they teach and love. We might still have to offer some Gen Eds during the 12 weeks for a while, until the current group of students graduates.

    But every three years, one-third of our faculty steps up and says: End of semester focus? We got this. It will be amazing. Just give us space to create. To make mistakes. To try. We got this.

    We can do this in stages. We can take a couple of years to melt away departments, etc. It doesn’t all have to be now.

    The people who are excited can step up first and blaze the trail. And we will love and honor them and give them our support.

    We can make it bolder in all kinds of ways. The immersives are not graded, maybe. Or seniors help TA sections of them. Or we invite experts from around the world to be with us during that immersive. The Board of Trustees helps us out. Gives us a Bryan Series for this project. Or the Bryan Series becomes a part of it.

    It could get bolder and bolder as it went along. Better and better. It doesn’t have to be perfect right now. We just have to start.

    Okay, that’s all I got, friends.

    Thanks for reading,


    • I love Mylene’s idea. It feels intuitive to me on some level: this is how we do our own work, isn’t it? We ask ourselves what we can contribute to a conversation (in public, in our disciplines) and what makes it meaningful. It’s such a great model of academic work, and it can even incorporate students’ passions and interests, can even be co-designed by upperclass students doing signature works within the immersive Center.

      A couple specific thoughts:
      1. We could include the Art & Science recommendation about “out of the classroom experiences” during the immersives. I’m not sure they absolutely meant this to be interpreted as only and always “in the Greensboro community.”

      2. The immersives could act as our added community time. The new weekly schedule that the 12-3 proposal forwarded added extra community time every day, but I fear that all that relatively unstructured time could become more like “free” time. And personally, I don’t feel a need for one hour of community time every day (one hour just doesn’t feel like enough, frankly, and every day seems like too much); but THREE WEEKS of focused community time could be revolutionary. Also, the burden of adding community time every day made it more difficult to schedule the courses for a 12-week semester, especially for 4-credit courses like ENGL 101, 102, HP, languages, etc.

      3. A question: if we did away with departments and added “Centers,” would students still major in a department?

      Thank you, Mylene!


      • Great suggestions, Parag! I imagined students would still get a degree in a traditional field (English, Biology), because that is what the world recognizes, but that we faculty would not exist in and inhabit field silos, and students would say, “I graduated with a degree in English from the Center for Arts and Creativity, Guilford College.”

    • Mylène, I love a lot of this… I was thinking something similar, but it looked more like this:

      Disciplinary Progams/Centers in

      Criminal Law and Society
      Immigration and Global Studies
      Sports and Wellness
      Technology, and Communication

      AND, *each* of these “applied” centers would be *shot through* with questions/analysis of justice in terms of race, gender, disability, and class.

      Our traditional “liberal arts” disciplines (Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Math) could decide to focus on one or more of these areas, but every area would also speak to others (how does technology influence sport? how do we see immigration and policing connected? etc.)

      OK, I’m dipping back out. Thanks y’all for thinking hard about these issues.

  5. I love Mylène’s idea. It has a more robust coherence and EXCITEMENT than anything we have considered for a while. I could get behind it without hesitation.

    • How many students would we have to cover in a given semester? I am thinking 3/4 of the student body at any one time. That’s a lot of students. But we could do it if there were larger courses with breakout sections. So for example for the Arts and Creativity Immersive, English comes up with one course, but 5 faculty divide it up into five sections, along (maybe) with Seniors we trust to help lead a section. Sometimes we meet as a group/team, sometimes as smaller sections. Same would go for Music, Art, Theater, XDesign, and anyone else with an interest in the Art and Creativity Center. And you only have to work this out once every three years. All the other blocks you are resting, thinking about the next block, attending some blocks in other areas, maybe, to get inspired for your own again in three years. But we would have to work out the numbers part, ’cause that’s a lot of students, and the faculty part, to ensure fairness.

      • I’m intrigued and fighting my urge to uncover how it won’t work for me or how the numbers don’t add up. It strikes me as bold and easily marketable- find your center, feel your edge. It’s risky, and I don’t see how we can be bold without risk. I see the potential for more room to do fulfilling, collaborative work. And I’d be game for being a trailblazing, guinea pig Center.

        • I had to resist the same urge, Wendy. How do we cover that many students? How do I teach something meaningful about Art and Creativity in three weeks? But we are bunch of bright people on this campus. I think we could figure it out, especially IF WE HAVE FUNDING. Every Center/block needs a budget, and it needs to be generous, dear Board Members. Because what if Wendy has this amazing idea but she needs professional singers and musicians to make it work, or she needs to take a bunch of students to DC to the Opera, or she needs several assistants? And she needs time to pull all this together? If we want bold we have to fund boldly.

  6. I think you would see more faculty excited about changes in our work if we had the time and support to take on new initiatives. Many of us are teaching full loads or overloads (paid and unpaid), advising students, serving on committees (standing and ad hoc), serving as department chairs, working on scholarly activities, attending campus events (athletics, arts, admission, alumni, etc), and serving within our professional organizations. I would be energized as well, if I knew what was being taken away in order to add something else.

    Since I am a member of the Nominating Committee, I well know the difficulty we have finding faculty to staff our committees. Committee service is important and part of our shared governance. If you read the materials for faculty meeting, we are looking at expanding faculty service obligations at the same time that we are looking at bold changes to what we currently do.

    I do not “fear” working with administrative colleagues, but I do wonder if administrative colleagues are fully aware of the workload that many of us endure each semester.

    • Great point, Gail. I don’t see why, during a (potential) time of tremendous change, we couldn’t and shouldn’t do away with business-as-usual regarding committee work and other areas of service. We are being asked to remake our college. In that effort, we serve. We suspend all but the most essential committees. We suspend all but the most essential meetings. We cut out all busy-work, bureacracy, everything little and big thing we can think of and point at (and we say and name what those things are). We hire these advisers we have been hearing about to carry some of that load. We make sure that people who are not on block service have, during that two years, time to do research and publish in their fields. We do not expect anyone on bock service to serve on a committee, and we do that by reducing the number of committees and by doing away with the idea that everyone needs to be on some committee all the time (plenty of other schools do this, especially schools on block calendars). We get super honest, super fast, about what we could stop doing to make this (or any other big change) happen. We stop pretending we can just keep adding things to Guilford, that that is the path, that that is even remotely workable. We strip down. We get lean for battle (forgive the non-Quaker language), the fight to save our college. Block teaching IS service. Re-making a college IS service. Administrators: see what Gail is saying, what we are saying. We are maxed out. The last years have been spent cutting support staff, positions, but have not cut a whit of our workload, which has only gotten bigger. Let’s get into a different kind of cutting now. Let’s ask each other: what could and would we cut to make space for transformation?

      • I hear you, Gail. And I agree with Mylène. Many, if not all, departments need an administrative assistant, in my opinion.

  7. Here’s the thing- Theatre and Music already have two of the largest budgets on campus precisely because the performing arts are expensive. And we are constantly trying to produce quality and innovative productions within the constraints of those budgets. We don’t have ideal or even adequate facilities, but we make it work. Robin is a genius at this. I can field a choir of 100 students (my dream) without multiple sections or other faculty. Without spending any more money than I spend now. In many cases, the more students involved, the better. So we can provide some balance there.

    My observation from working with arts organizations is that when a
    bold idea resonates with a board, money follows. Again, risky. And not easy.

    • Wendy, wouldn’t it be amazing to do a 100-person choir for one of the immersives. Wow. The hair is standing up on the back of my neck. What the students would learn about music, art, creativity, community, staging, performance, physicality, and of course then there is what they would be singing, and the text and implications of and lessons from that. It would be such a meaningful Gen Ed. Something they would never forget. The time I came to Guilford College, and I never thought I would do it, but I sang in public. I pushed myself to the edge of what I believed I could do. I found my breath, a center I didn’t remember I had. Wow wow wow. I would go to that school.

  8. I disagree. We’ve been asked to come up with a concept that will essentially “wow” the President and the board- is that not the case? And my understanding is that the President will be forced to impose a bold change on us if we don’t act quickly. I think the less we paint ourselves into a corner with details, the more likely we are to find the right bold idea.

    It’s perfectly acceptable and respectable in my discipline to use words
    like excited, trust, messy, inspiration, intuition, risky and so forth to work through a concept in creative project planning. It doesn’t end there, obviously, but I think it’s detrimental to our work to limit the types of lenses through which we can view this work.

    • Wendy, didn’t mean to paint you/us into a corner. I think I misunderstood your comment. I thought you were saying: “Here is what I might do with an immersive, this has been my dream.” Sometimes this format isn’t the best for having conversations.

      • Sorry, Mylène- I filed my reply to Maria’s post in the wrong place. My fault. You understood me completely – in fact, choir people often hold “immersive” weekend experiences for high schoolers with as many as 200 singers. It can be rather transformative.

        • Oh I am so happy! I thought I overstepped! I am so happy because your idea truly gave me chills. It made me think: my goodness, what could I do if I really let go of what I think a class or course could be?

          • Happy to see this discussion. One quick thought to piggy back on Mylene’s idea (which I love, in a generally vague what-could-go-wrong kind of way): We need to think about how to streamline consensus in order to save it. Organize the college into these centers or clusters within centers or something. In essence, organic affinity groups, which would better represent us than the current divisions. Those groups operate by consensus, each with a clerk. The clerks of all the groups meet AS CLERKS COMMITTEE and conduct the business of the college. Affinity groups invest trust in their clerks. Clerks is a manageable size, but truly representative. Much of the business of the college is conducted on a representative basis, and I get to focus on my interests.

            I’m sure there are all sorts of complications, but if we aren’t thinking about complications here, then let’s play with that idea for a while.

            Thanks for the discussion.

  9. Love your energy and creativity, Colleagues! Let’s keep it coming!


  10. Wow! I feel ashamed Wendy called me a genius while I was partying in NYC for my mentor’s retirement. I apologize I haven’t been up to date on this but it was a historic weekend for theatrical design! I love love Mylene’s plan. And while money is needed for development, if we are Centers instead of departments we become stronger together in terms of resources and bandwidth. I don’t feel I have anything to add just yet but I will take and confirm the complement, Brian Coleman and I are geniuses of making theater with low budgets, the key is never say “no” just “how about this?” and make sure your space is too small for the sets to get too big (the whole fish can only grow as big as it’s tank formula). I think that methodology can probably apply to other disciplines. Great work colleagues!