Thursday, July 28, 2011

Maybe I'm not the heretic I feared I was

Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring posted a discussion in today's Chronicle that the traditional university can and should be changed from the inside out. I like the concise identification of the three roles of the traditional university, discovery of knowledge, preserving cultural memories, and mentoring the next generation.

Yet, they see today's traditional university in a perilous position. I feel, maybe too often, that my thoughts and viewpoints are heretical. I'm too far off the edge, perhaps. But Christensen and Eyring state "One thing we've got to come to grips with is the power of online technology and the opportunity to enhance the way we teach." It's nice to hear someone else saying this kind of stuff. The bottom line for so many institutions will be self evaluation and transformation. Prune away that which is necessary for survival. Recognize the value of teaching to the university's mission. Adapt or perish.

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