Speaking to the President’s Council on Thursday, President Stephen C. Ainlay outlined a number of initiatives designed to create a learning environment that promotes collaboration among students across a range of disciplines.
“Members of the President’s Council have long emphasized the importance of being part of team in their organizations and businesses,” he said. “We are teaching students not only to write and speak well, but to work as members of a team. We create curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to work as a team.”
Among those opportunities are the common learning spaces in the Peter Irving Wold Center and Schaffer Library, which have proven to be enormously popular meeting places for students and faculty engaged in joint projects, the president said.
In the planning stages are new independent living spaces, which have been requested by students, a renovation of West College and an expanded dining facility in Reamer Campus Center. Under way is the renovation of the former Humanities Building, which will be re-dedicated as Karp Hall. All of these projects are part the Strategic Plan.
Besides the learning environment, the president outlined two other foundations of the Strategic Plan: academic quality and sustainability.
“We seek to create ‘T-shaped’ graduates who have both a breadth of knowledge across a range of disciplines, and a depth of knowledge in a single field,” he said.
On sustainability, the College has lowered its effective draw on endowment, increased giving through the Annual Fund and limited increases in the comprehensive fee. In energy, the College is beginning plans for a co-generation facility that will more efficiently provide cooling, heating, power and humidification.
The President’s Council is comprised of friends of the College who have expertise and experience in a range of fields. The group meets twice per year on campus for discussions with President Ainlay and the senior leadership team.