It was great to see so many at yesterday’s event (I didn’t expect an SRO crowd). And the mix of participants was exciting—faculty, emeritus faculty, students (grads and undergrads), alumni, staff, administrators. The panelists effectively put forth both diverging and complementary views (thank you, again, panelists!), and the many contributions of the audience made for a wide-ranging discussion.
A summary of the discussion will be posted on the website early next week, but I’ll just mention two thoughts I took away from it. First, there is strong and engaged interest in this topic across a broad swath of our community and, second, while we don’t agree on whether “liberal arts university” is the best _name_ for what who we and what we do, there seems to be an underlying consensus that we combine broad learning and research distinctively. Now we need to parse this combination with greater specificity. And we’ll have the chance to do that during our year-long conversation—both in the “formal” events and in the many smaller conversations that I believe will ramify across the campus.
Michael R. Halleran