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Christopher Healea | Staff | Orl Warren Towers

Posted: (January 10, 2008 3:51 pm)

The current strategic planning process is an exciting time for the Boston University community. In fact, the proposed investment to recruit more faculty, upgrade facilities, and increase educational opportunities should help to position Boston University as a leading institution among large, urban research universities—a sign of the “greatness” we are “choosing to be.”

Of course, how we define “greatness” is a key factor in this strategic plan. With this in mind, I appreciate that President Brown, in his Forward to the plan, makes a “personal observation” that references Daniel L. Marsh, the fourth president of Boston University (1926-1951), and shows that Brown was “stunned to discover that for at least seven decades, since the long-ago presidency of Daniel L. Marsh, almost nothing has been written by us, about us, on the fundamental level of values, vision, and a plan to achieve our goals.”

President Marsh’s early twentieth century presidency serves as an appropriate case study in our strategic planning process. Indeed, by looking to the past we position ourselves to avoid mistakes and to design better solutions for the future. For twenty-five years, Marsh promulgated the university’s historic core values—values that emphasize both liberal and useful learning, moral excellence, civic devotion, and equal educational opportunities for all persons. In fact, upon the unveiling of the university chapel, which was newly constructed by Marsh in 1949 and named in his honor, Marsh distilled his lifetime philosophy of education: “We hope that the procession of immortal youth passing through the halls of Boston University for the next thousand years will be vouchsafed a vision of greatness, and that that vision of greatness will become habitual, and result in moral progress.” In sum, Marsh believed that “greatness” was a matter of moral and civic education, and he insisted that Boston University had a responsibility to both its historical beginning, which assumed moral and civic education, and to its future legacy, which would depend upon how well moral and civic learning would be transferred to later generations of students.

As we plan for the future, I hope that our current strategic planning process will also incorporate an emphasis on moral and civic learning—an educational endeavor that will help to distinguish Boston University as truly a great center for higher education and that prepares our graduates who will inevitably face age-old ethical quandaries in a modern, global society. The current plan already echoes the spirit of Marsh when it calls for core values to drive university operations, not vice versa. It even asserts that Boston University is, “first and foremost, a service organization” and that it must act accordingly. In light of this, Boston University is uniquely positioned to infuse a focus on moral and civic learning throughout the curriculum, co-curriculum, and extra-curriculum. An intentional and holistic approach to moral and civic learning could include a number of collaborative initiatives such as a general education for undergraduates, applied ethics courses for graduate students, an infrastructure for service-learning, increased community service in the city of Boston, incentives for faculty involvement, orientation programs, and celebrations of shared university traditions to name only a few strategies.

An intentional and holistic approach to moral and civic learning at Boston University involves significant costs that tie into our preexisting need to increase fundraising and alumni giving; however the costs of neglecting moral and civic education are far greater. Boston University is poised to become a truly great university because it is poised to foster a caring environment where students are taken seriously as responsible individuals, and where they are challenged to explore and encouraged to apply core values to their own lives and to their relationships with others in society.

Jorge Vela | Student | CAS

Posted: (July 1, 2007 7:07 pm)

Dear President Brown:

I would first like to thank you for carrying out the creation of a Strategic Plan. Any attempts at reforming and improving our university need to be based on solid values, core ideas and hard facts, and I think that your report aims to emulate this model. However, I would just like to offer some recommendations in the areas where I find the report to be a bit vague:

1) Environmental Sustainability - This is an area where BU performs poorly, whether in relation to peer institutions or in absolute values. Taking into account the comments of Drs. Kunz, Murray, Friedl, Zook, Kaufman, and Holmes, as well as those of Alumna Mrs. Paynter, I believe that BU should place greater emphasis on achieving higher levels on energy reduction as well as lower levels of pollution. This can be done in many ways: by replacing light bulbs with flourescent light, by recycling more, and on a larger scale, by making sure that new buildings are more environment-friendly. It would be wise to take the example of other institutions such as Tufts when looking for ways to make BU a more socially responsible school.
2) New Construction - I was very glad to see that BU had put the renovation and construction of academic facilities at the top of its priorities. There is no doubt that such capital projects will require major fundraising efforts and capital campaigns. However, although BU has placed emphasis on renovating the School of Law and the College of Fine Arts (which it should, since the former is among the best recognized programs at BU while the latter is in desperate need of renovation or rebuilding), BU should also emphasize the renovation of CAS, GRS and, to a lesser degree, STH. CAS, like the report stated, at the heart of undergraduate education. As the biggest college at BU, the CAS building should receive a major renovation, and the whole building that comprises CAS and GRS should be allocated to CAS so that an expansion in the number of class offerings can be made possible. In that case, GRS should receive a new building dedicated solely to Graduate education, but there should still a high level of integration between the two (only at the academic, not at the physical, level!). STH, as one of the more neglected schools, should also receive a facelift. Lastly, to support these newly revamped institutions, a new library building should be constructed, one that actually attracts people to study in it and that provides ample space for researchers to pursue their work. I was lucky enough to spend my last semester at the University of Oxford, and I noticed the big difference that an attractive and comfortable library can make in attracting students and researchers to make use of the full resources available to them.
3) More and Better Equipped Faculty - I was also very pleased with the recommendation asking for an increase in the number of faculty hires over the next decade. This is a crucial area in which BU needs to expand. In order to support a quality undergraduate education, BU needs to make sure that students receive the level of attention that they deserve, especially considering the amount of tuition that many BU students (not on financial aid) pay to attend this institution. However, adding new faculty should not come at the expense of existing faculty. Our faculty is, along with our students, our greatest asset, and we should make sure that they are well supported as they pursue research activities and teach classes. Thus, faculty salaries should not be frozen, but should rather be increased to ensure that they are not stolen by other universities. Access to research funds should be simplified, perhaps by making research funds more available to faculty. Lastly, in the spirit of "a more global university," BU should lead the way in establishing more faculty exchange programs, as well as establishing more courses with an international focus, whether they are in the international relations department or in public health.
4) A global university - In praise of what the report stated, BU's globalism is one of its major strengths. The number of study abroad programs run at BU is amazing, and the international student body is incredibly diverse. We should increase our lead in these areas. BU should develop more study abroad programs, in particular in Asia, but also building on its existing bases in Europe , Latin America, and Africa. For example, the London, Paris, and Madrid centers could include more partnerships with local universities, and the Peru program could be linked with top-ranking Latin American universities as well. Only by more directly exposing students to foreign cultures, in particular through study at foreign institutions alongside native students, can BU truly hope to imbue its students with more concerns about the world around them. And this point is valid for faculty, too; the value of faculty exchanges should not be overlooked. And, of course, like Professor Sammons (whom I was lucky to have taken a class with) pointed out, a global university should have greater focus on the teaching of foreign languages; this includes strengthening both existing programs and adding new ones. Lastly, one more suggestion to the strategic planning task force would be to expand in areas with a global focus where most universities have not yet. For example, dual degrees with foreign law schools are increasingly becoming popular with globally-minded law students, but only two institutions (Columbia and Cornell) offer programs that are of top quality (in London and Paris for the former, and Paris and Berlin for the latter). The same thing is true for programs in the Medical and Business Schools, as well as for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, in which students could be furthered exposed to the world by at least increasing the number of graduate student exchanges. I know that such programs would certainly make BU a more attractive grad school for me to attend.
5) Student Output - Perhaps the most important recommendation that I can give to the Task Force would be to listen to the output given by its student body and to alumni. If BU truly wants to improve the educational, and more generally the college experience of students, then it needs to take student concerns into account. These run from decreasing the number of students in overcrowded classes or even in entire programs (I read about a complaint that the Dental School was overcrowded and that either fewer students or more academic space and faculty were needed) to re-instituting a football team. In the case of the latter, although I am not a particularly strong football fan, I have seen the value that a strong football program can have towards building community on campus. The examples of BC. Michigan, and Notre Dame quickly spring to mind, but even more closely related to me, that of my own high school, where although our football team was average at best, it did attract many parents and teachers to the games, and aroused much school spirit when it won. BU, then, should at least consider re-instituting football (and perhaps even add baseball) Lastly, programs that focus on undergraduates should also be furthered strengthened; some that come to mind are undergraduate research programs (UROP and programs at CAS Bio, Chem, and ENG), scholarship opportunities for continuing education, and more emphasis on career building and post-graduate advice through strengthening the Careers Services Office, the BU Fellowship Office, and the Pre-Law and Pre-Med advising centers respectively (perhaps one could set up an office to advice on GREs too)

Before I finish, I would just like make one final point: I am very happy with the way BU has grown since I first came here as an undergrad in 2004. BU has provided me with incredible opportunities right from the start, from amazing classes with great teachers to study abroad to undergraduate research opportunities. However, like any institutions, many things could be improved, and I hope that they are for the new generation of students that are following mine year after year. Although there are many other recommendations that one could give, these are the ones that I consider the most pressing ones. I thank everyone that has contributed to the Strategic Plan and who will in the future contribute to the improvement of BU, and I hope that you do not find any of my comments merely critical, but rather that you seriously take into account the voice of a student for whom this university has and will always mean a great deal. Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,
Jorge Vela

Jude Ziliak | Student | CFA

Posted: (May 2, 2007 11:39 pm)

It is most troubling that the goals for CFA include increasing quality of faculty and availability of CFA offerings to non-CFA students, and metrics include increased student yield and quality, and yet no mention is made of improvement of physical facilities and financial support for students.
The School of Music's peer institutions that are consistently more successful in recruitment and have attained wider recognition (Shepherd School at Rice University, Thornton School at USC, and the Jacobs School at Indiana University, for example) have a notable feature in common. All three offer merit scholarships to undergraduate international students. Pre-collegiate instruction in music is demonstrably better overseas than in the United States. If BU hopes to compete for the best players in the world, its faculty is not the first thing that needs to change; its scholarship program and (as is self-evident and often discussed) physical facilities require attention much more urgently.

Susan Frey | Staff | Business Affairs(Turnaround)

Posted: (May 1, 2007 8:34 am)

I would like to see Retention, as well as Recruitment, as a metric. Supporting Actions for the Strategic Plan might be expanded to include an important need: operations infrastructure, including web-based and in=person support services to assist research faculty in managing personnel, financial accounting, purchasing for the lab, compliance, etc. Retention of research faculty and students, depends on a well-oiled operations infrastructure as well as physical facilities. The infrastructure must not be frustrating and burdensome to work with.

Mose Herne | Faculty | MET Liberal Studies

Posted: (April 30, 2007 7:47 pm)

I have noticed during my time at BU that there is a lack of cultural/ethnic diversity among the faculty, although this seems to be less glaring among the students. I believe that I am the only Native American instructor at BU and this is disheartening on many levels. First, although BU has demonstrated a strong commitment to communities of color in Boston and around the world, the Native American community continues to be overlooked in these efforts. This is particularly devastating to Native communities since this is the population most susceptible to a myriad of governance, socioeconomic, and health problems. I would like to see BU take a more assertive approach in contributing to the empowerment of Native communities similar to other top tier schools. The establishment of a Native American program at BU would be a monumental first step in accomplishing this goal.

Second, as a a Gulf War veteran I would like to see BU take a more substanital role in the education and re-training of our men and women veterans who return from war, aiding in the transition back to civilian life. This is another community that seems to be overlooked in BU's current efforts.

I think that these two initatives would add significantly to the mission of BU by recruiting highly qualified and motivated individuals to pursue academic degrees and careers while increasing the diversity of both faculty and student populations. This would also serve to increase the quality of a BU education by providing students and faculty a more vital learning environment and significantly strenthen the "One BU" ideal.

Zane Ahmadein | Student | CAS

Posted: (April 26, 2007 8:06 pm)

I feel that more public space needs to be present throughout BU. The BU beach needs a face left that will attract students during all times of the year. Strategically located benches and tables, aswell as fucntional sculpture. The Marsh Cappel as well needs to be reinvented and more useful, functional and inviting. Another more radical idea that needs to be implemented in the long term, is that Comm ave from kenmore to coolidge corner should be car free. This will allow for more of a campus feel that can improve the quality of life for all students and residents.

Jason Selinger | SMG Alum | N/A

Posted: (April 6, 2007 1:26 pm)

A great return on investment, as previously stated, involves bringing back the football team. BU will never be "the other great school along the Charles" without a competitive football team. We don't have the smarts of an MIT, the panache of a Harvard, or the endowment of a Boston College. However, a solid football team will give us notoriety and place BU's name in the papers.

Charles Dellheim | Faculty | CAS History

Posted: (March 20, 2007 2:39 pm)

February 9, 2007



President Robert Brown
Boston University
One Sherborn Street

Dear President Brown:

We have read the reports of both the Strategic Planning and Global Initiative committees and followed the subsequent discussions with considerable interest. It is clear that the committees have put a great deal of time and effort into their reports and we are grateful for the contribution they have made to discussions of the future direction of Boston University.

The comments that follow were sparked by an informal discussion that followed the November 1 meeting of the Faculty Assembly and developed in an exchange of emails between the four of us in the months since. Our point of departure was a sense that, while we agreed with much in both of the reports, we were troubled by the lack of specific initiatives. As our discussions proceeded, it became clearer to us that the separation of the two reports may have been a contributing factor and that it would be productive to bring the two reports into conversation with one another. It is our sense that, as things now stand, not enough attention has been directed to the particular strengths that define Boston University and how we might make use of those strengths. As a result, the goals of both reports, while laudable, strike us as goals that might be pursued by any well-run university. At this stage of the discussion, we think it is imperative that we begin to think more specifically about the particular resources that can be brought into play to raise the profile of Boston University.

Consequently, in what follows, we have tried to frame a series of specific recommendations, drawing on our experience as faculty members and as department chairs, that would offer great possibilities for tapping the considerable resources available at Boston University and, by doing so, strengthen the reputation of the university nationally and internationally. Specifically, we recommend:

1. An increased emphasis on interdisciplinary initiatives as a way of strengthening teaching on both the undergraduate and graduate levels,
2. The creation of a “Boston Center for the Arts and Humanities” as an institutional framework to support such efforts,
3. A strengthening of international faculty exchange programs.
4. The development of a series of undergraduate courses that explores the role of Boston and the United States in the global community

1. Interdisciplinary Clusters

The Harvard economist Michael Porter has argued, in a number of works on competitive strategy, that what he terms “clusters” have been a highly effective way of promoting innovation. The development of the metropolitan Boston biotechnology industry can serve as a case in point. When applied to the university setting, such clusters would provide an organizational and intellectual focus for faculty working in closely allied areas. They have the considerable advantage of providing greater flexibility than formal programs or institutes, but do not require joint appointments or entail increasing administrative overheads. Such clusters address some of the same needs as centers or institutes, but they can be created (and dismantled) rapidly and at little cost. And they are unlikely to become unproductive fiefdoms.

A number of potential clusters come to mind. For example, the university currently has a number of excellent faculty working in the areas of European American, African and, East Asian studies. We have considerable strengths in eighteenth-century studies and in the history and philosophy of science. Possibilities exist for productive cooperation between faculty in CAS and the College of Law in a program that would bring together the disciplines of History, Economics, Law, and Philosophy. There are also significant opportunities for collaboration between CAS, CFA, and COM in areas such as writing, film, and the performing arts. Finally, there is much innovative work at the intersection of engineering and the life sciences already being done that brings together faculty in CAS, ENG, and the Medical School.

We can make good use of limited resources by apportioning a certain number of faculty searches in a given year for “cluster hires” in significant interdisciplinary fields, especially those in which we already have significant competitive advantages. This last point is essential: we see little advantage in attempting to pursue new initiatives – no matter how attractive or worthy – in areas where we do not currently have a foundation on which we can build. Cluster hires would require the support of several departments (and in certain cases colleges) and would reward them for collaborating rather than simply trying to replace “lost” courses or lines. Before making such investments, it would be necessary to look carefully at our local and national competition to ensure that other institutions are not well ahead of us in areas that we propose investing in. The clusters need to be made up of people thoroughly grounded in their respective disciplines while also interested in broader issues. Thus, we would search for possible new hires not in, say, Islamic Studies, but rather for specialists in Islamic religion, philosophy, art history, history, and literature. The test of clusters’ success would be the quality of the research and teaching they produce. It would be necessary to ensure that departments are properly credited for their members’ instructional contributions, particularly for participating in co-taught courses between disciplines.

Such clusters could provide areas of strength on which the university could build in developing programs on both the graduate and undergraduate level by offering students who are majoring in a particular discipline the option of receiving certification in a program developed by one of the faculty clusters. For example, a cluster of interdisciplinary courses on various aspects of global pandemics might have a great deal of interest for Political Science majors with an interest in global health policy, History majors with an interest in the role of plagues in history, anthropologists with an interest in affliction is defined, diagnosed, and treated in different cultures, and students on a Pre-Med track with interests in public health issues. Such clusters might also help enhance our MA for Professionals programs.

Finally, theses clusters would provide attractive possibilities for fund-raising initiatives. By offering a practical demonstration of the wealth of innovative work being done at Boston University, these clusters could serve as an important resource for the Offices of Development and Sponsored Programs in their efforts at procuring donor gifts and outside funding for specific initiatives.

2. The Boston Center for the Arts and Humanities

One way of fostering the development of such clusters would be to provide the flexible institutional frameworks that could serve as a home for clusters of faculty pursuing such interdisciplinary work. In keeping the idea of avoiding the proliferation of single-purpose institutes or centers, it is imperative that these new institutional settings be sufficiently broadly defined in their missions so as to encompass a number of differing clusters of faculty projects. While there are examples of such initiatives in the area of biotechnology that might be applied to other areas of the natural sciences, we think it would also be important to explore the possibility of similar ventures in the area of the humanities and the arts, particularly since the university has resources in this area that are unmatched in the Boston area.

For this reason, we propose creating an interdisciplinary initiative to establish a “Boston Center for the Arts and Humanities.” The proposed center would draw on the resources of CFA, CAS, and COM. Beyond its role in strengthening interdisciplinary education on the undergraduate and graduate levels, the Center would serve raise the profile of the university within the broader Boston community by connecting with the metropolitan area and local cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Boston Symphony, and the Boston Ballet. It would also offer a very attractive funding opportunity for donors.

The University has already taken steps in this direction with the establishment of the Huntington Theater, and it should be feasible, with little additional expense, to develop cultural outreach efforts that would draw on the talents of faculty in CAS. It is striking that institutions that cannot claim to match our wealth of resources have managed to play a much more prominent role in fostering such ventures than we have. For example, Bard College, an institution which lacks the close ties that Boston University has to the Boston Symphony and to Tanglewood, runs a nationally recognized music festival each year that features lectures and performances devoted to the work of a particular composer. Closer to home, Boston College has achieved significant visibility with its art gallery programs (a number of which have been written up in The New York Times). There is no reason to think that we could not, with the proper institutional support, become one of dominant culture institutions in the Boston area.

The Boston Center for the Humanities and Arts would coordinate the efforts of, and strengthen the ties between, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Communication (though other colleges might well participate as well). It would encourage scholarly excellence with particular emphasis on interdisciplinary projects by fostering research groups in fields where Boston University has an existing foothold as well as potential for excellence. The Center would attempt to strengthen Boston University’s international orientation, position, and reputation by bringing in foreign scholars, writers, and artists for short residencies. Finally, the Center for the Humanities and Arts would help enhance the undergraduate experience by sponsoring a small number of new interdisciplinary courses in the humanities and arts and by expanding opportunities for undergraduate research in these areas.

While lectures, symposia, and performances would be the mainstays of the proposed center, we should also think about ways in which we could draw on the formidable technical resources available through the College of Communication to broaden our reach. One way to expand our audience and influence (locally, nationally, and internationally) would be to high-quality podcast programming of the sort that, at present, is chiefly provided by institutions such as the BBC and, to a lesser extent, by National Public Radio. Given the production facilities of the College of Communication and the faculty talent throughout the University, Boston University is well positioned to become a top provider of intelligent, stimulating programs disseminating ideas in a medium that, at the moment, is still very much in its infancy and which would connect us with precisely the audience we need to cultivate: intellectually curious high school students as well as their more technologically savvy (and often affluent) parents. It is striking that, yet again, we are being beaten in this area by local schools (for example, Northeastern University, which collaborated with the BSO on video podcasts for their Beethoven-Schoenberg series) that have far less in the way of potential resources than we do.



3. Strengthening Our International Connections

We also agreed with much in the report of the committee on globalization, but – once again – we found ourselves a bit unsure what exactly was being proposed.

More attention needs to be given to the particular strengths that have defined Boston University’s reputation in this area. We are strong in a number of fields, including African, American, European, and, potentially, East Asian studies. Applying the general approach sketched in the previous section, we think that it would be more productive to build on the work of clusters of faculty working in areas where we have existing strengths, rather than attempting to “cover” all areas.

There is also a need to strengthen the university’s existing base of international programs and international students through the cultivation of a series of academic and artistic exchanges. For instance, the recently established Institute for American Political History is collaborating with Cambridge University to sponsor annual conferences and graduate student exchanges. Similar cooperative ventures exist between the Philosophy department and the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna. Though we already offer diverse study abroad experiences for our students, we could do more to sponsor faculty exchanges and joint research projects with our partners in venues such as our Padua program.

The proposed Boston Center for the Arts and Humanities could play a major role in fostering such connections as well. It could work with local cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts or the Boston Ballet on annual events that could bring foreign artists, musicians, and dancers to Boston (as the 2009 Ballets Russes program will do). Such efforts would strengthen both BU’s metropolitan presence and international standing.


4. Boston and the World: Rethinking Global Studies

We were also concerned by the tendency we saw in discussions of “globalization” and “global studies” to use “global” as a shorthand for “non-Western.” This tendency results in a failure to consider the complex historical encounters between different societies, both “Western” and “non-Western,” that gave birth to the modern world and has the potential to lead us to ignore what may well be some of the university’s greatest resources.

We feel very strongly that any consideration of the role that Boston University might play globally cannot be separated from its particular identity as a metropolitan university in what has historically been one of the world’s leading cities. For this reason, it strikes us imperative that considerations of global initiatives not be separated from reflections on local ones. The way for Boston University to become a truly global university is to identity itself more closely with the rich tradition – historical, artistic, and scientific – that defines Boston.

We propose, as a way of focusing this approach, that we develop a series of interdisciplinary courses that aim at providing students with a broad understanding of the complex cultural, political, and economic interactions and conflicts between different regions of the world, past and present. One way to make the “global” concept meaningful is to focus on issues of global concern. For instance, by building on existing or proposed initiatives on global health and on the environmental crisis, Boston University could take a leadership role in public debate while also creating a set of interdisciplinary courses on subjects of pressing relevance.

Framing our program in terms of America’s changing relations with the rest of the world can contribute to students’ local and global awareness. Such efforts should focus on the role of Boston as a “global” city – global because of its historic, cultural, and scientific significance. For example, Boston’s international ties could be the subject of courses as well as workshops that could command considerable public attention. While deepening students’ awareness of the ties between the local and global, we could offer an antidote to provincialism by looking at the cosmopolitan vision (and its adversaries) in ancient, modern, and contemporary times.

It has been our experience that international students tend to be abundantly aware of the relationship between Boston University and the city of Boston: it is one of the things that draws them to us. But this is an identity that we have tended not to emphasize enough. Indeed, it strikes us that the title of the “One BU” report may well be a symptom of this neglect. The abbreviation “BU” tends to obscure an identification that needs to be stressed: we need to stress, in every way possible, the idea that Boston University is, indeed, Boston’s University. By playing a more active role in the intellectual and cultural life of this major world city, Boston University will be able not only to strengthen its ties with a vital and active artistic, scientific, and academic community, it will also be able to secure a unique role in the global community.

We very much look forward to working with you in achieving this goal.


Sincerely,


Charles Dellheim, Professor of History and Chair of the History Department
James Schmidt, Professor of History and Political Science
Parker Shipton, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Research Fellow in African Studies
Charles Griswold, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department

copy: David Campbell, University Provost
Douglas Sears, Associate Provost

Jonathan Kurtzman | Parent (and live nearby) | N/A

Posted: (March 6, 2007 2:13 pm)

The report concentrates on internal constituencies and thus only addresses certain issues obliquely. For example, BU has trouble embracing even the initials "BU," with every flag showing the full name and the seal. NYU is NYU and listed above on this page it says, "relationship to BU." You have an opportunity to brand the school properly to reflect how the school is actually referred to. Make that proud. Put it on the banners. Put it everywhere. Not Boston University. BU!

Second, the plan doesn't directly address BU's greatest image problem, the campus' lack of a sense of place. You can articulate a vision for the blank spaces on Comm Ave - even without filling in the actual buildings. You could at least put right up front "creation of a sense of place that creates a more unified campus feeling." I think you should consider ways to minimize the open scar of the Mass Pike, but merely putting this at the top will stir discussion.

Third, you need, in my opinion, to say a few things about pedagogy. BU stands for what? In my mind, with my daughter's experience, it stands for putting teaching first in a large, research and pre-professional university setting, a belief in rigor as opposed to academic coddling.

Fourth, you should more directly charge each college with discovering and implementing classes and programs that push the edge. For example, my daughter is in COM. They produce tv but that department barely communicates with advertising - not even at the ad lab level. They produce content for the web but don't interface with public relations. That is an edge in terms of art, technique, theory and future employment. It should be COM's specific charge to develop that kind of program.

Dr. Peter August | Alumnus, GRS/BIO 1981 | N/A

Posted: (March 6, 2007 2:12 pm)

I strongly encourage BU to set an example to its student body, the city of Boston, the region, and the world by embracing a clear and bold commitment to (a) managing the operation of the University in an environmentally sustainable fashion, and (b) declaring environmental science, stewardship, and management a core focus of BU's academic programming. There is no question that energy, global climate change, and water will be the dominant social, political, and economic drivers of the 21st century. By embracing environmental sustainability in its actions and pedagogy, BU can be a global leader. The strategic plan is the place to make a decision and make a commitment -- lead or lag.