December 17 - December 24, 2017

Happy holiday season!  

Aside from the compelling feature articles, I find the evolving state of Sweet Briar College to be particularly fascinating this week.  It's a provocative case study: while many schools are in relatively comfortable states of persistence, and are therefore more subject to inertia, here is an institution prompted to rapidly, radically redefine itself.  How does it do so? What is the result?  What can the rest of us learn from this?

Enjoy!

Peter


FEATURED ARTICLES

"In general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information -- reading but not interacting with people -- they report feeling worse afterward... On the other hand, actively interacting with people -- especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions -- is linked to improvements in well-being... Simply broadcasting status updates wasn't enough; people had to interact one-on-one with others in their network."

"A high GPA reflects skills like being prompt, working really hard, following directions, and being well rounded, all important skills for high-level careers."




ADMISSIONS





ATHLETICS





CHARACTER







COGNITIVE SCIENCE






CREATIVITY





CURRICULUM





DIVERSITY/INCLUSION


"As educators, it is our job to teach students how to think critically so that they can engage larger social issues. That is not confined to just the social sciences, but has an impact on all academic disciplines and departments. Yet as Baldwin also said, society is not always that anxious to have a mass of critically thinking and engaged people."




HIGHER ED



Sweet Briar Announces Its Revised Curriculum Chronicle Of Higher Education
"Some of the courses, like 'Argument and Persuasion' and 'Decisions in a Data-Driven World,' focus on core skills.  Others, like 'Women and Gender in the World.' are tied to Sweet Briar's mission. And courses on such subjects as design thinking and and sustainable systems explore methods and approaches that are growing in popularity nationally."

"Sweet Briar's official news release on the new curriculum and restructuring laid out in detail changes that were announced months ago, explaining that the new curriculum is intended to focus on women's leadership.  It said five new faculty members will be hired over the next two years to support the new curriculum... Roughly a dozen faculty members' positions will be eliminated, the college's administration confirmed... They include tenured professors, tenure-track faculty members and instructors teaching under contract.  A total of 10 tenured and tenure-track faculty members are being affected."




HUMANITIES





LEADERSHIP





PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT






PEDAGOGY





READING/WRITING






TECH