Observations from a Faculty Meeting

What happens when you put a large department in room to argue about strategic planning? Chaos, of course, and maybe little fragments of genius.

It occurred to me that one of the things that happens in a moment like this is the tendency to seek out exact languages. In such a large group, of course, you find that every term is loaded. And if there is a term that isn't, then it's almost certain to be empty.

And when it comes to deciding on a mission, ultimately the mission of every department is one that is doomed to failure, as often as not: to educate, to help someone to know themselves, to do whatever it is the department dresses up its mission. We can quibble about those things, but really, we have to step beyond them to recognize that it's the rare moments we do succeed that matter the most.


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