notably, Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age) is mirrored by business periodicals that have recently asked “Is the MFA the new MBA?” For Harvey Mudd, vocational and avocational justifications of a renewed and thorough-going embrace of creativity dovetail perfectly and offer us an important way to rethink our goal of primacy in both technical and humanistic education.
[This suggestion arises from conversations at the recent Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences retreat and reflects the contributions of a number of department members.]
Service to Community. What role can service to our local and global communities play in promoting leadership development among HMC students? How might service to community facilitate understanding of society, a necessary building-block for understanding the impact of one's work on society? What are the costs and benefits of service to community for all stakeholders? To what extent should such service be linked with course-work? How might course-linked service (i.e., service-learning) facilitate understanding of course content and vice versa? What kinds of support would faculty need in order to effectively and efficiently integrate service-learning into their courses? What types of activities constitute service to community? Student Outcomes. What outcomes do we most desire for our students? In what ways do our curriculum and campus culture cultivate vs. stunt these desired outcomes? Beyond providing intensive opportunities to learn the tools of our disciplines, to what extent are we compelled to contribute to the overall self-development of our students?
Leadership: The mission statement challenges us to educate our students, among other things, so that they may assume leadership in their fields. How can we best promote leadership development, i. e., promote the attitudes and skills that will allow and encourage our graduates to make a difference?
Flexibility in the curriculum: Every major portion of our curriculum, including the technical core, the humanities and social sciences, and the majors, has strong requirements that are easily defended. Yet taken together, the resulting overall rigidity is seen to be oppressive by many students and faculty. There is no doubt that we have one of the least flexible sets of requirements in the nation. It can also be argued that the paucity of choices is a suboptimal way to educate future leaders, who need to get used to making more of their own decisions. Humanities and Social Sciences has recently shown that it is possible to provide more flexibility. How can the technical core requirements be made more flexible? How can the major requirements be made more flexible?
Campus-Wide Sustainability HMC should develop and implement a campus-wide sustainability policy. The college has already taken some very big steps by certifying Sontag and Hoch-Shanahan as LEED Green buildings, and certainly a logical extension of those actions is to assure that those buildings are operated sustainably. This in turn will have implications for the housekeeping and maintenance procedures on the rest of the campus, as it is impractical to expect the staff to use different procedures and materials in some buildings versus others.
The implications of sustainability policy go to all aspects of college operations: grounds keeping, housekeeping, energy, water, buildings, transportation, travel, procurement, as well as to educational content. The issues of global climate change should be at the top of the list of