July 23, 2020 |Sluggish. Glacial. Imperceptible.
That's how some people characterize the pace of change at universities.
I challenge anyone who has been paying attention to our college over the past four months to defend such a prejudice.
Try: Adaptive. Agile. Innovative.
Don't get me wrong. It's not as if our college has suddenly been disrupted by buzzword-wielding consultants. Nor have we been seduced by change for the sake of change. Instead, we've risen to the needs of our time, our community, and our students.
All of us have re-invented our working habits and spaces. Our faculty have entirely redesigned hundreds of courses, applying together the CTE's expertise and our colleagues' well-considered guidance so that we can teach and our students can learn remotely, online, or in-person--or in some previously unimagined combination of these forms.
How have we done this? By relying on one of our community's great strengths: we learn together, supporting one another to adapt to our new (and, God willing, temporary) environment.
Sure: Alter Hall now sports paper-towel holders and blocked-off benches, not to mention a lot fewer chairs in each classroom.
The most impressive adaptations, though, are those that you've all made and continue to make.
I find them as inspiring as they have been exhausting.