academics header
 

Chapter 3: Academic Program and Planning, 1982-1985

* Final Report of the Long Range Planning Committee, 1982
* Krukowski Report, 1982
* Two-course Option for Division I, 1984
* Third World Expectation, 1984-85



Long Range Planning Committee. Final Report.
Amherst, Mass.: Hampshire College, 1982

This Final Report of the Hampshire College Long Range Planning Committee represents the culmination of two years of painstaking work by the Committee and its sub-groups. The report ranges over a broad spectrum of concerns relating to the future of the College. Most members of the community will agree it is fitting that the bulk of the Committee's efforts--and consequently the major portion of this report--has focused on the core of the College's existence, the academic enterprise...

On September 9, 1980, President Simmons established the Hampshire College Long Range Planning Committee and charged it with the responsibility to "clarify the choices Hampshire faces in the coming decade and to make recommendations regarding long-term educational and financial policies."(p.1-2)

There was widespread agreement within the Committee that the College's mission, broadly defined, was clear and appropriate. Although there is a range of disagreement over details of that mission and how best to serve it, the Committee shared a sense of participating in a distinctive and common educational enterprise in whose aims and accomplishments they believe. There seemed neither reason nor sentiment for tampering with that mission. It seems clear that in the coming decade institutions with a credible and distinctive educational mission stand the best chance to survive and prosper...Thus it became a basic tenet of the planning process that Hampshire's mission as a distinctive, experimenting, high quality liberal arts college was to remain central.(p.3)

Demographic studies show a major decline in the traditional college-age population and an even greater decline in Hampshire's primary recruiting area. This fact may cause serious problems in the long run for admissions and raises questions about where future recruitment effort ought to be directed. A related concern is the maintenance of an academic program and living environment conducive to the retention of matriculated students. There is reason to believe that the current rate of student attrition at Hampshire is too high and can be reduced. In addition, as an experimenting college, Hampshire is committed to making continued improvements in the design and execution of its academic program.

Perhaps our greatest strength lies in an educational approach built around individualized student programs, an interdisciplinary academic structure, and progress by examination. However the individualized nature of the program generates a number of problems. It is difficult for Hampshire students (and faculty) to have a clear sense of what constitutes "enough" work or to know what counts as "success." Student projects vary so widely in form and in content that there is no applicable single standard by which to measure these things. Frequently, because of the lack of obvious signposts for success, first-year students have a feeling of floundering and react negatively to a lack of criteria for establishing a sense of their own progress. A lack of formal criteria for quality and a resultant variability in academic standards give rise to student uncertainty and anxiety and considerable pressure upon faculty members. Because the program lacks the standardized steps toward completion common to traditional academic programs and relies heavily on student initiative and drive, it is very much subject to the vagaries of students' personal lives. The structure of exam committees leads students to work closely with a few faculty members, and, as a result, the supporting environment on which students rely is relatively narrow and subject to the variability of faculty leaves and faculty loads. (p.4)

Individualized patterns of student progress give rise to more specific problems. There is no established time for beginning or completing Division I work, so students often have no reliable way of measuring their own progress against an established norm or well understood set of expectations. Nor is there any clear and well-established pattern for the transition to Division II...In fact, students are frequently still doing Division I work in one field while already working at very advanced levels in others...It is now widely agreed that adjustments can be made which would create a better environment for acquiring appropriate skills and for fostering adequate forms of engagement.

Another strength of the Hampshire curriculum is its provision of areas of interdisciplinary study and work in emerging fields not usually available to undergraduates. This, however, is also a source of some problems. Because there are no set requirements, there is limited stability in the curriculum, often making it difficult for students to plan a course of studies or for Admissions to communicate the Hampshire program to prospective students and parents...Another aspect of the Hampshire curriculum which poses some problems for faculty and students is the dual nature of the Hampshire system, dependent upon courses for a substantial portion of the total instruction which takes place, but determining progress through the system by means of "examinations."

Hampshire faculty, the College's most important resource, work in an environment which, while highly stimulating, is also highly pressured. Demands to stretch beyond areas of proven competence, variable and uneven workloads, tensions between Hampshire's interdisciplinarity and the professional interests of faculty, the fragmented character of faculty work and the relatively high student/faculty ratio are all contributing factors for faculty anxiety. These are further complicated by the vulnerability of a faculty subject to constant review for contract renewal.(p.4-6)

It is evident, then, that what may be seen as Hampshire's greatest strengths--its individualized programs, individualized patterns of student progress, flexible curriculum and enormously gifted faculty--are at the same time the sources of many of the problems faced by the College. The challenge to any task force charged with long range planning is to address and to remedy these problems without at the same time undermining the strengths.(p.7)

Retention of matriculated students is highly dependent upon the quality of the academic program, especially upon the engagement of the student in the first year, and upon the quality of student life. Of those who leave, our studies have shown that the majority are lost to Hampshire early in their careers, usually between the second and fifth semesters of study. This suggests that there may be problems with the way in which the College addresses these students early on. A study suggests that the difficulties experienced by these students is a lack of engagement with Hampshire life and Hampshire culture...(p.14)

Quality of Student Life
Recommendations for improving the quality of student life have been separated into three broad areas: food services, women's athletics, and community service. After an extensive examination of the present food services arrangements at Hampshire and at other institutions, the Committee recommended that Hampshire remain with the Saga Corporation food services for the present. It was found that Saga provides a level of quality of food and service that was generally superior to what was available elsewhere and does so at a reasonable price. With a new manager on campus there seems to be an improvement in quality, and the Committee recommended that a regular student advisory committee be created to work with the manager of Saga to assist with planning and to work for continued improvement. This recommendation has been accepted by Saga and is now a part of their contract with the College...

The Committee recommends the development of new programs designed to encourage women's participation in team sports without placing a heavy emphasis on competitive sports. It will work with the new director of women's athletics to achieve that goal as well as to increase women's use of the Robert Crown Center.

A major proposal from the Committee recommends a change in the community service requirement, presently a part of Division III...Instead of the service being performed in a student's Division III, it is intended to engage students earlier in their Hampshire experience. The proposed requirement urges students to perform their service for the benefit of the Hampshire College community...(p.15-16)

The Academic Program
Most of the recommendations from the Long Range Planning Committee are concerned with various aspects of the academic program: the structure of the divisional examination system, distribution requirements, the Schools, the curriculum, and other programs.

Students and Courses. The Committee strongly reaffirms the Hampshire system of progress by examination, experiments in pedagogy, and interdisciplinary learning. The Committee believes that there is an important role for courses at Hampshire as a forum for collaborative learning and for teaching students the value of sharing ideas and engaging in intellectual and artistic discourse. Although progress toward the degree at Hampshire is properly measured through divisional exams, courses should continue to play a major role in the transmission of knowledge and skills. Courses have a particularly important function at the beginning of a student's career as a means of introducing students to faculty, peers, and seminars on a wide variety of subjects. Some courses--proseminars--will emphasize examination skills; others give good instruction in writing, analytic reasoning, and so forth. Still others serve as an effective setting for the critical examination of ideas.(p.18)

Division I. The goals of Division I are a working introduction to the Hampshire concept of a liberal education. These goals include 1) breadth or scope in the distribution of studies, 2) the development of certain fundamental intellectual skills, 3) understanding of and practice in employing methods and assumptions of different areas of human knowledge, and 4) the development of abilities to do independent and self-initiated work. Division I provides students with general skills of defining and refining questions, developing critical thinking and the ability to challenge one's own and others' assumptions, and with the sense of accomplishment and serious engagement with academic life.(p.21-22)

Basic Skills and Distribution Requirement. To strengthen some of the elements of Division I, the Committee recommends the addition of a new requirement in basic verbal and quantitative skills. Each student would be required to show that he or she possesses the skills to design and write a major research paper and to demonstrate the possession of basic quantitative skills involving abilities such as the management of statistical data, use of mathematical tools in the conduct of research, and basic level of computer literacy...The Committee recommends that these requirements be fulfilled not by an additional piece of work beyond what is now expected, but rather that they be certified in the course of the students' classroom and examination work in Division I and II.(p.22)

Coordinated Basic Studies. As part of the effort to establish appropriate structures for entering students, the Committee proposes that for the fall of 1982 a limited, voluntary prototype of a Coordinated Basic Studies (CBS) model for Division I be implemented...A Coordinated Basic Studies program consists of a group of three faculty and between forty and fifty first-semester students. The program constitutes the full academic workload of the students, and the full course-teaching load of the faculty. The goal is for each faculty member to combine all course-teaching, advising, and examining duties in work with the students in the program...Program faculty will be drawn from three different Schools of the College, or from three intellectually distinct areas of the College...

Programs will be organized around ideas and problems which are usefully approached in a multi-disciplinary way and which we are quite sure will interest a large proportion of our incoming first-year students. Examples of program topics might be "Visual Arts and Popular Culture"; "The Sixties"; "Environmental Quality"; "Women in Modern Art, Literature, and History." Each program will have a number of components, including lectures, seminars, laboratory and studio work, field work, or whatever else the faculty wish to plan and supervise...(p.23-24)

Strengthened Proseminars. The Committee encourages efforts to strengthen the proseminar program as a key element in providing a more coherent early academic experience. The proseminars provide an introduction to the divisional examination system, a supportive environment and an excellent vehicle for developing ties with faculty, advanced students and other new students. Proseminars can function as a means for the diagnosis of problems and the development of basic skills, especially writing. The Long Range Planning Committee also endorses the development of a College-wide writing program together with basic skills diagnosis and skills improvement workshops providing an essential link with the proseminars program...

The Committee also recommends that the Schools be encouraged to develop Division I course offerings which are designed to facilitate the initiation of Division I examinations. These might include mini-courses or other non-standard devices in which students would be encouraged to work toward a Division I examination. Together with the coordinated basic studies program and the proseminars program, such courses would aid significantly in encouraging early engagement with the Hampshire academic program and the divisional examination system.(p.24)

The Faculty in the 1980s.
In recognition of the fragmented character of faculty responsibilities at Hampshire and the great burdens placed upon them by the high student/faculty ratio in the context of individualized education, the Committee gave considerable attention to problems of faculty workload, and to the implications for faculty workload of its recommendations. Recognizing that any efforts to limit or reduce that burden would be likely to have the consequence of imposing limitations on student options and, in some cases, on faculty options as well, the Committee concluded that after ten years of virtually unlimited options, the College had developed a clear sense of their costs and was prepared to impose some limitations for the sake of improved quality of services. The Committee recommended, therefore, a series of steps which should be taken.

First, the College should review the form and structure of the student transcript in view of workload considerations and student needs. In particular, it should consider the costs and benefits of eliminating the adviser's cover letter from the transcript.

Second, the committee recommends that a student's advisor should normally be drawn from the membership of the examination committees for Divisions II and III. This would formalize an already widespread practice. Hampshire College simply does not have enough faculty advisers to permit any other practice to be the norm.

Next, the Committee recommends that Hampshire faculty membership on exam committees should be limited to not more than two for Division II or III committees and not more than one for Division I committees.

Fourth, the Committee recommends that a limit on the number of Division III committees any one faculty member may chair should be established as a guideline. It is expected that conformity with the established guideline will reflect the good judgment of the faculty member and will involve consultation with the school dean.

Finally, in order to improve the overall quality of Hampshire education, to enhance selected areas of the academic program and to add new areas where needed...the Committee recommends that the College give serious consideration to reducing the student/faculty ratio from 14.5:1 to 12:1 by adding sixteen faculty over a five-year period, and it endorses the aim of continuing to reduce that ratio if it is financially feasible to do so.(p.28-29)

Financing the College in the 1980s
Although Hampshire was founded as a "new departure in higher education" emphasizing an alternative way to achieve the traditonal goals of a liberal arts education, the College was also a financial experiment. The goal was to start a college without a large endowment and to support its continuing operation primarily from tuition and other student fees. This high tuition dependency was thought to serve two purposes. The first was efficiency and economy in the operation of the institution; the second was independence from the vagaries and potential constraints of private philanthropy.

The main components of the College's financial experiment were a heavy reliance on tuition and fees as a source of income, a high student/faculty ratio, and a minimal commitment to financial aid. These components, moreover, assumed a large student applicant pool, low inflation, cheap energy, and a robust faculty job market that encouraged high faculty turnover. Each of these components and asumptions has been severely challenged since the College opened.

By 1977 it was clear that a number of the main components of the financial experiment could not be sustained and would have to be revised in order to provide for the financing of the College over the long run...

Three options have been considered in defining a strategy to deal with the realities of the College's finances. The first would be to continue current policies, cut expenditures to balance the budget, and slowly build annual giving and endowment in order to decrease tuition dependency. This strategy is not viable since both the threats to enrollment and inflationary pressures on expenses would produce large deficits even if the best estimates of increased income were correct.

The second strategy would be to reduce expenditures dramatically by reducing the size of the College over the next five years to 1000 students. This scenario would probably produce smaller deficits in the first few years than the first option, but would create new problems. Without a turnaround in the decline in full-pay students, the basic financial problem of the College would not be changed, and significant deficits would remain. In addition, there is a great danger that the transition to a college of 1000 would further accelerate the decline in full-pay students and result in a futher decline in total enrollment. Expenditure reductions would mean a loss of 16 faculty and 32 non-faculty, or 18 percent of total personnel. This would be bound to create internal disruption, have a negative effect on morale, and convey the message to critical constituencies that the College is in serious trouble...

The third option is to enhance the College in ways that contribute to improved admissions and retention. This strategy focuses on increasing income from student fees rather than on reducing the College's tuition dependency. It requires reinvestment in the College to improve areas that will lead to stabilizing enrollment, particularly of full-pay students.

An enhancement strategy would have several components. It would underscore the distinctiveness of the College and work to strengthen those aspects that affect perceived and real quality. It would define and support areas of the curriculum that are particularly appropriate to meet the interests and needs of liberal arts education in the 1980s. This strategy has significant financial implications. It requires reinvestment by adding ten faculty over five years to relieve academic understaffing, and to sustain the vital functions of the advising system. Other areas of investment should include academic support such as equipment, classrooms and other instructional facilities, admissions, student life and physical plant...The financing requirements for enhancement, approximately $1.5 to $2.0 million over five years, are considerable. The College does not have surplus resources to make that initial investment, and would have to spend beyond the levels of a balanced budget, either through increased fundraising, internal reallocations, spending assets, or some combination of these. However, if the strategy works, there is both a payback on the investment and a smaller deficit than if the current situation is allowed to continue.(p 30-33)

Implementation
No one at Hampshire needs to be reminded that the Committee's recommendations are not a panacea for all the problems the College will face in the 1980s, nor is there a guarantee that the current strengths of the College will be sustained without effort, It is important to continue self-examination and self-study and to make planning an ongoing enterprise.

Hampshire is an experimenting college, and must maintain the flexibility to deserve that description. If it is to avoid rigidities and orthodoxies, it must be able to view itself objectively and to be responsive to the internal and external factors which give it its mission and will sustain its survival.(p.35)



Krukowski Associates. Hampshire College Student Recruitment Marketing Plan.
New York: Jan Krukowski Associates, August 1982. Click here to download a pdf of this report.

[The Krukowski Report was highly controversial when it first came out; however, many of its recommendations were ultimately adopted.]

Preface
In March of 1982, Jan Krukowski Associates was authorized by Hampshire College to proceed with an attitudinal and marketing study designed to help the College formulate a marketing strategy and plan of action for its recruitment activities over the next three to five years. The information gathered in the study would provide answers to a number of fundamental questions:

1. What are Hampshire's qualities that do now and can in the future attract prospective students?
2. What turns prospects away?
3. What are the characteristics of students who are most likely to want to come to Hampshire?
4. What are the characteristics of those who do best at Hampshire and of those who drop out or transfer out of Hampshire?
5. What different kinds of students might Hampshire successfully seek? (p.5)

Executive Summary
A: Trends and Characteristics of Hampshire's Market

1. For Hampshire and other selective colleges that depend on high-ability students from relatively affluent families, the real admissions crisis began early in 1970 when the total pool of high-ability students began to decline steadily.
2. In the first half of the past decade, Hampshire fell from a position as one of the nation's most selective colleges to where it is now forced to admit all but the very weakest candidates. Although positive action by the admissions office has stabilized the College's recruitment situation in recent years, the future is perilous.
3. Since Hampshire's students are drawn disproportionately from affluent families, gross demographic projections actually underestimate the extent to which Hampshire's market will shrink in the years ahead.
4. Hampshire is operating now too close to the margin to absorb any additional decreases in applications. With the total pool of possible prospects continuing to fall through this decade, Hampshire will have to realize significant gains in its market share simply to maintain the status quo. Improvements in quality and selectivity will require a major increase in the number of applications.
5. Hampshire's historic role as an unconventional, innovative college is both the source of its current recruitment difficulties and an opportunity for a way out of them. The research findings indicate clearly that much of Hampshire's distinctiveness today is built around perceptions that are liabilities in recruitment.
6. Hampshire's educational mission is badly misunderstood. Although Hampshire's goal is to provide undergraduates with the means to work on the highest level of which they were capable, Hampshire is seen now in the market as academically second-rate.
7. Hampshire is not thought to have a rigorous and intense academic life, and is given poor marks for the substantive strength of its academic programs and the quality of its campus life. What credit it does receive is for distinctiveness of educational style.
8. Hampshire is positioned at the fringe of the market, where the pool of prospects is simply too small to provide the College with the applicants it needs. While most prospective students personally value many of the characteristics associated with Hampshire, the paradox working against Hampshire is that students judge academic quality by less subjective and more traditional measures.
9. For too many students, coming to Hampshire is identified with taking an unnecessary risk.
10. A reversal of Hampshire's worsening recruitment situation will require a shift in the College's approach to prospective applicants.
* Hampshire must avoid appearing as a "counterculture" institution. Instead, it must present itself as a kind of "honors college," offering highly individualized programs for ambitious, intellectually alive students who are determined to make a difference in the world.
* Strong emphasis must be given to program substance in all contact with applicants. Hampshire must seek to be known for academic quality in specific academic fields.
* Exposure to the intellectual life of the College must be built into every contact with prospects but especially into the campus visit.
* The College's unique academic structure must not be presented as an end in itself, but as a means to achieving academic quality and intellectual rigor. Explanations of Hampshire's educational approach must be made in this context.
* The intellectual and personal skills a Hampshire education develops must be spelled out explicitly.
* Hampshire must be presented as an academically demanding and difficult college.
* The Five College consortium must be a central marketing tool, and given even more emphasis than it now is. Hampshire must be presented as a creation of the consortium--the academic jewel of the large Five College "university" setting.
11. The tone of Hampshire's communications should be non-ideological.
12. More emphasis must be given in all communications to what students actually accomplish at Hampshire.
13. The faculty must be directly involved in recruitment.
14. The College must send an immediate and unambiguous signal to the marketplace that Hampshire is committed to high intellectual and academic standards.
15. Hampshire must do far more than it is now doing to identify and cultivate talented high school juniors. (p.11-15)

B. Curricular and Extracurricular Marketing Considerations
Research findings indicate clearly that Hampshire suffers from a general perception that it lacks academic rigor and standards. Moreover, there seems to be relatively little acknowledgement or understanding of the strength of specific academic programs.

To correct this, the College should:

1. Make a public announcement to schools and counselors that the College is tightening its admissions requirements and from now on will carefully screen out students who are not capable of meeting its academic standards. The announcement should be planned to attract press coverage. It should focus public attention on Hampshire's educational mission, emphasizing that while that mission has not changed, the failure of high schools to prepare students for rigorous, independent work has made the tightening of admissions standards necessary.
2. Require SAT test scores of all applicants. Since less than 5 percent of Hampshire's current students did not take SATs this would have no bearing on admissions decisions. But we think it is harmful to Hampshire to be known as a college that does not require SATs.

Hampshire must build awareness of the specific strengths of its curriculum. At the moment, it is best known for its programs in the arts which, as the research findings indicate, are associated with colleges of lower academic quality.

1. Admissions officers should be well-informed about the College's strengths in specific fields, and especially of faculty scholarly interests and specializations. All personal contacts with applicants should include some mention of specific academic programs.
2. The prospectus should be organized around the College's four schools and the advanced thinking, and new directions in specific academic fields that fall within each school. The prospectus should give students intellectually stimulating insights into the fields they can study in college.
3. Acknowledgement should be made in the Student Search mailing if a student has identified an intended major and a specific presentation should be offered of Hampshire's strengths in that field.
4. To underscore the College's strong intellectual purpose, the application to Hampshire should require students to read, analyze and comment in essay form on a short, scholarly work in one of four broad areas relating to each of the College's four schools.
5. The College should organize each year three or more "Introduction to Hampshire" days for prospects and their parents. These events would be built around carefully planned seminar presentations by faculty in each of the four schools...
6. Campus visits should be restricted to the extent possible to only one day per week...
7. The College should establish a program with key feeder and prospect schools that would take Hampshire faculty into the schools to conduct seminars on specific academic fields...
8. To reach high-ability juniors, the College should contact juniors who have scored highly in specific achievement tests and invite them to participate in three-day seminars that would be offered by Hampshire in June...
9. Research findings indicate that the Five College consortium is, at the moment, Hampshire's greatest single marketing asset. Hampshire should be presented as the offspring of the other four colleges--as the model created by four of America's most distinguished institutions of higher learning for undergraduates who are interested in and capable of pursuing individualized programs of independent study. A specific and detailed presentation of the Five College system and how it supports Hampshire students must be a fundamental part of every admissions contact. The Five Colleges must be presented as the "university" setting within which Hampshire students work. (p.15-19)

C. Identifying and Reaching the Student Market
Since Hampshire now converts a relatively high percentage of its inquiries into applications and of its admitted students into matriculants, a substantial increase in inquiries will be required to increase both applications and selectivity. Our research findings show that the general inquiry pool has significantly different characteristics from those of the students Hampshire now enrolls. Also high school students judge colleges by very traditional standards. In light of this, the best strategy for improving inquiries is initially to present Hampshire as an "honors" college within the Five College consortium, then to build awareness of Hampshire's distinction on that foundation. This approach will place initial contacts with prospects in a context that they are likely to appreciate and understand...

Hampshire cannot realistically expect to attract a dramatically higher proportion of academically superior students in light of likely future decreases in the high-ability pool. Hampshire's best strategy for attracting more high-ability students is:

1. To build an identity as an honors college for students interested in interdisciplinary and emerging fields.

2. To selectively "sweeten" the financial aid packages of the College's best applicants.

The perceptions about Hampshire in the marketplace, the College's location, the competition for high-ability minority students, and the lack of sufficient numbers of minority role models on the Hampshire campus make recruitment of minorities especially difficult. Given the College's overall recruitment problems, we advise against a major new effort to increase minority enrollment at this time. Instead we recommend careful use of the Minority Search to identify qualified minority students who can be targeted for recruitment efforts. Each member of the admissions staff should be responsible for minority recruitment in his or her region, and a number of telephone and printed admissions communications should be directed to minority students. (p. 19-22)

D. Strategies for Counselors and Parents
Even though counselors have a relatively better understanding of Hampshire than the students they advise, counselors value traditional educational approaches more than their advisees do. Assiduous cultivation of counselors must be a specific communications objective for Hampshire.

1. The announcement of the tightening of Hampshire's academic standards and of the requirement for SAT scores would be made directly to counselors via a special mailing...
2. All counselors from the 432 feeder schools and 607 prospect schools should be invited to counselor visitation days at Hampshire. These should be offered at least twice a year at convenient times. As with the student visitors, the central focus of the day for visiting counselors should be faculty/student presentations in each of the four schools, conveying Hampshire's intellectual vitality and the quality of student work.
3. Counselors would be sent a folder on "Characteristics of Students Who Excel at Hampshire." This publication would suggest the range of academic and personal qualities necessary for successful work at Hampshire.
4. Counselors should also be supplied with a "Hampshire Advising Kit," containing all Hampshire recruitment materials.

A strong body of evidence from our research suggests that parents place less value on many of the characteristics associated with Hampshire than do high school students. Indeed, a number of research findings indicate that parents may place obstacles in the way of Hampshire's recruitment efforts. We suggest a two-pronged strategy to address this problem:

1. A special program for parents. This publication would discuss major concerns likely to be on parents' minds about their children's future. It would relate Hampshire's educational objectives to the ambitions parents have for their children and also review such topics of parental interest as financial aid, career preparation, and campus life.
2. Regional "parents' nights" conducted in key recruitment markets around the country by parents of current Hampshire students. All prospects and their parents in the appropriate city, town, or region would be invited. Sponsoring parents would preside over the evening, which would feature an informal presentation by a panel of students on the work they are doing at Hampshire and how that work has focused their thinking about life after college. (p.22-24)

E. The Role of Cost and Financial Aid
Our research findings indicate that the College's recruitment efforts may suffer from the perception that a Hampshire education is not a good value. However, nothing in our research findings would support suggestions that Hampshire should lower its tuition relative to benchmark institutions in order to be more competitive.

Nonetheless, Hampshire must make financial aid and information about financial aid a more effective instrument of recruitment and marketing strategy:

1. Hampshire should change its financial aid policies to permit more favorable packaging and more generous awards for the College's strongest applicants.
2. To better inform students and parents about financial aid and the methods of financing a college education, the College should publish a comprehensive financial aid guide.
3. Hampshire should establish a financial counseling service for parents that would offer them information and advice on managing their resources to pay for college. (p.25)

F. Findings and Recommendations Bearing on Attrition and Reforms in Academic Programs
The research findings suggest that many of the academic and social reforms suggested in the report of the long-range planning committee to reduce Hampshire's attrition and address problems in academic life would also address directly many of the negative perceptions about Hampshire in the marketplace. Many of the problems identified by the long-range planning committee are a source of dissatisfaction for current Hampshire students and major factors in students' decisions to drop out or transfer out of Hampshire.

Implementation of the marketing strategies recommended in this report should be the first step in reducing attrition. These recommendations should help diminish the number of students entering Hampshire who will be likely to transfer or drop out. Second, implementation of the recommendations in the long-range plan focused on improving the quality of the experience students have in Division I, and in the transition from Division I to Division II, should go a long way toward ensuring that students who can succeed at Hampshire do indeed stay. (p.26)



Two Course Option for Division I, 1984
Division I Proposal

Passed at Senate Meeting on December 11, 1984.

The goals of the Division I requirement for work in all four Schools are for the student to understand the mode of inquiry in four different areas and to complete independent projects using the modes of inquiry of at least two areas. The student is to see that learning is approached in many different ways with different means. One goal is to go "behind the scenes" to the places where scholars and creative artists fashion knowledge and insight, in order to see the judgment and selection that goes into this work. In other words, the student goes deeper than a textbook view of the field. Another goal is to see the context (the set of cultural assumptions, etc.) that shapes our "knowledge". Inquiry always takes place in a context. Another essential part of the goals of the overall Division I process is the ability to form and carry out an investigation, involving learning the skills of choosing a feasible (doable) project, negotiating its form with a faculty member, researching the topic and its background (for the arts, carrying out the creative project with a sense of context), and communicating the results in a presentation.

There are several ways for the student to fulfill the Division I requirement in each School:

1. An independently negotiated project, formed with the consultation of a faculty member, written up in a formal proposal, and evaluated by the Division I committee. These independent projects may rely upon background gained in a course or courses in the subject area.
2. A course-related project, arising from the student's work in a course and negotiated with the faculty member teaching the course. A formal proposal is filed. Many Division I courses are specifically designed to lead to such projects.
3. The successful completion of two designated courses in a School. Not all courses open to entering students would fulfill the Division I requirement. Designated courses will be specifcally designed to teach the skills and methods of inquiry needed or characteristic of the School in question. The two courses used to meet the Division I requirement in a School should be carefully selected so as to constitute a program that is meaningful to the student. The student's advisor should be fully involved in the formulation of this program. Completion of the Division I by this path is certified by the faculty in the two courses involved. Each must be completed at a level of accomplishment consistent with the Division I requirement. The faculty member teaching the first of the two courses must also certify that the courses chosen will meet the objectives of the student's program.

Each student may complete a maximum of two Division I requirements by method 3, so that each will do at least two individually proposed (course-based or not course-based) examinations requiring the formation of a question. Implementation

1. Part three of this proposal would apply to entering students and would be an option for currently enrolled students, effective Fall term '85, with courses so designated. In Spring 1985, the various Schools will draw up more explicit criteria for the selection of courses and the list of proposed designated courses for 1985-86. The Senate, perhaps meeting jointly with the faculty, will discuss these School proposals in the context of the purposes outlined above.
2. The School Deans, in consultation with their Schools, will be responsible for the designation of appropriate courses available for this option, keeping in mind that a sufficient number of courses be made available.
3. An evaluation form will be designed if this Division I proposal is passed which will be used in connection with (3) to certify that the student's work in the two courses was satisfactory to meet the Division I requirement. This is not meant as a substitute for narrative evaluation.
4. The course option (type 3) shall be an experiment to end in May 1989, prior to which time there shall be a substantive review involving the entire Hampshire community. This review shall investigate the effects the experiment has had, make suggestions on changes in the Division I process, and make a recommendation on whether or not this experiment should continue.



The Third World Expectation, 1984-1985

To: The Senate
From: fran White

White Studies

The Third World requirement strikes me as the most radical proposal to come before Hampshire since its inception. It calls into question the implicit assumptions and ideological biases that underlie the education we offer at Hampshire. We are forced to recognize that despite our innovations, we have not sufficiently broadened the core of our education beyond the traditional Western worldview that stems, in part, from the privilege of domination over the rest of the world. Put simply, we have a White Studies requirement at Hampshire. This expectation, while implicit, insures that every student who passes through here for a reasonable amount of time will engage in questions that grow out of Western culture. There is no need to specify a content requirement for White Studies because the entire history of liberal arts education and our specific divisional requirements and advising system ensure that students engage in some questions that come out of Western traditions. At the same time no student need go beyond this pitifully narrow and presumptuous worldview.

Some would argue that by instituting a Third World requirement we are bringing politics and ideology into our program. To some, the proposal appears to impinge on an apolitical structure. This is a positivist notion that our program is value-free and unfettered by ideology. In fact, the program that we have is extremely political. Indeed, this positivist position of a value-free education masks an ideology that supports the status quo--a state of affairs that keeps nearly three-quarters of the world in subordinate positions. At Hampshire, we support this unequal distribution of power by producing graduates who can not even recognize the power they collectively hold over the rest of the world. Too many of our students internalize the ethnocentric assumptions imbedded in our White Studies requirement and leave Hampshire without the tools to question what seems natural but is in reality constructed by society.

Admittedly, this proposal strikes at the very heart of traditional academic structures. If we broaden our assumptions to include the Third World, who will want to be included next? For example, feminists might push justifiably for a requirement that engages all students in gender issues. If others demand to be included, will we be in danger of a kind of cultural relativism that allows all theories and ideas to compete with one another in an atmosphere where no standards apply? In such an atmosphere, will political power be the arbiter of the accepted agenda? I think we will not be deluged by irresponsible proposals. Furthermore, if we do not change, we face an even greater danger--we will remain in a narrowly defined structure that accepts the present power relations.

The discussion that comes from this attempt to broaden our educational mission will be educational itself. This Third World proposal has already engaged us in this kind of discussion; as some argue that we need to modify the current proposal to institute a cross-cultural requirement that can include other parts of the Western world as well as the Soviet Union and its European allies. Although I understand the impetus for such a suggestion, given the American-centered worldview of most of our students, I urge that the institution take a political stance against Western cultural, political and economic domination--a stance that would be undermined by a kind of global studies requirement.

Endnotes

1. Is there a Third World chemistry? No, there is no such thing nor is there an implication in this proposal that such a discipline exists. The proposal does suggest that chemistry students conceptualize their Division 2 work in such a way that they explore the relationship of their projects to the Third World. I do not want to begin to suggest here the myriad ways that science students can engage in this expectation. Let me just point out that this requirement helps students reflect on the way that science depends on economic and political structures and helps them understand how scientific paradigms, like all knowledge, are culturally constructed. Both the questions asked and the tools used are rooted in social relations. From what I know of our Natural Science faculty, these are the kinds of issues that are often engaged in the classroom and divisional process. The requirement allows students to apply these issues to the Third World.
2. There is a libertarian mood at Hampshire that easily lapses into a laissez faire approach that supports the status quo. This approach suggests that any changes in Hampshire's structure is a betrayal of the original Hampshire mission. Even among people who were here before Hampshire officially opened its doors, there is disagreement about what this mission is or should be. Most would agree, however, that Hampshire was to be innovative. Like many others, I was attracted to Hampshire by what appeared to be its innovative nature. I thought I would find a school that recognized the need for change in the traditional liberal arts education and its own structure when problems became clear. The Third World requirement builds on the radical implications of Hampshire's foundation.
3. Libertarian arguments have also been invoked to attack the idea of requirements. This position rightly points out that the Third World "expectation" is a requirement. Yet such arguments both overlook the implicit and explicit requirements we already have and exaggerate the importance of structure and process at the expense of content. Meanwhile the reality that the Third World requirement breaks down the dominance of the White Studies requirement at Hampshire is ignored. Moreover the proposal calls for specific, affirmative action by students to insure that the status quo will not remain unchallenged.
4. The proposal is not a solution to all Third World problems even at Hampshire. It is a tool to begin creating a structure that recognizes the importance of African, Asian, Latin American peoples wherever we may live. I do have, of course, a personal stake in this proposal. It is the first time since I've been here that I have seen any move to break down the barriers that marginalize my experience at Hampshire into tokenism.

To: The Senate
From: David Rosenbaum, Chairperson, for the Educational Policy Committee
Date: March 7, 1984
Subject: Proposal Regarding Third World Studies

The Educational Policy Committee has spent the past several months discussing the role of Third World studies in the curriculum. The attached proposal regarding "The Peoples of the Third World" is the immediate result of those deliberations.

The proposal is the outcome of a fairly strong consensus. We are unanimously agreed that a Third World/cross-cultural expectation is an educationally sound and compelling proposition, particularly at a liberal arts institution like Hampshire. Among the particular strengths of this proposed policy is the fact that, consistent with Hampshire's emphasis on conceptual and analytical categories of inquiry, it sees the subject as pedagogically central...

This policy also holds the promise of involving current faculty not specifically dedicated to the study of the Third World in an exciting rethinking of their own disciplines in relation to it. It does not, at the same time, present the same problems of faculty workload of earlier proposals; in addition, it would be easier to monitor in order to maintain our sense of standards. The proposal, finally would properly engage all of the College's several and diverse constituencies, including the administration and admissions, in the system of support of the policy it recommends. Our deliberations have been guided by the principle that any Third World expectation, in addition to being intrinsic to our curriculum, must be seen in the context of that kind of shared responsibility for its most effective implementation.

The Committee's agreement on the spirit and substance of this proposal notwithstanding, there was considerable discussion and some disagreement on the specific interpretation of the key word "expectation", and whether or not there should be sanctions to enforce it. Some members of the Committee felt it should be interpreted fairly strictly; and other members felt that it should be interpreted more flexibly as being equivalent to "anticipated". Even in the strictest interpretation of "expectation", this policy would permit a latitude equivalent to our current practice. It neither dictates nor defines the particular field or subject a student might pursue. It, on the contrary, gains force in the context of a student's own choices of topic or field of study.

We are confident that the proposal goes a long way toward the fuller accomplishment of the goals of a Hampshire education and submit it to you in that spirit. The final vote on the proposal was seven in favor, one opposed, and no abstentions.

The Peoples of the Third World

I. Policy
The peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America make up more than two-thirds of humanity. The experiences and interests of these men and women have, until very recently, been all but ignored as legitimate and important subjects of study. When their experiences and interests are seriously incorporated into scholarship, however, the very terms of that scholarship are profoundly influenced. Entirely new areas of inquiry are frequently created.

Hampshire College is committed to the principle that a student's education is incomplete without an intellectually substantive engagement with the experiences of the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America (including North America's own domestic "third world"). As in the study of other areas of the world, this naturally includes issues of gender. For both the intrinsic importance of such knowledge and the instrumental importance of understanding the intellectual significance of multiple perspectives, the College expects each student to present tangible evidence, prior to graduation, that such engagement has occurred. Under normal conditions, this will take place in Division II and in the context of the planning and design of a concentration.

(passed by the Senate, 5/1/84)

II. Implemention

1. Advisors will be responsible for helping students to understand the importance of studying the peoples of the Third World, and to engage aspects of Third World studies at appropriate points in their education.
2. Under ordinary conditions, Division II committees will assist students in planning a Third World component of their studies for inclusion in Division II contracts.
3. For the next 3 years, 1985-86 through 1987-88, School examination committees will monitor this decentralized approach to implementation in their normal oversight of contract and evaluations. The purpose of this monitoring is not to enforce a requirement on any student or committee, but rather to assess, in the aggregate, the effectiveness of this mode of implementation.
4. In order to assist faculty members in carrying out their responsibilities as teachers and advisors under this policy, and in order to encourage the incorporation of Third World issues and perspectives in faculty research and in the curriculum, each School shall:
* Develop courses incorporating Third World issues and comparative analysis. Proseminars, in particular, will be important vehicles for such a focus.
* Strive to appoint Third World faculty to all available positions and include, where appropriate, Third World concerns as part of the definition of new positions.
* Encourage collaborative teaching between faculty knowledgeable in Third World affairs and other faculty.
* Sponsor speakers, symposia, colloquia, and other events dealing with Third World issues and perspectives and featuring Third World speakers and scholars.
5. For the same purposes, the College, through the office of the Dean of Faculty, will promote faculty development grants in this area. The college will reserve funds for these activities and seek additional outside funding for these purposes.
6. Since a culturally diverse community is essential for achievement of these goals, the Admissions Office will pay particular attention to the recruitment of Third World students.
7. Hampshire will be explicitly presented through publications and other means as strongly committed to interdisciplinary study of the Third World.

(passed by the Senate, 4/10/85)

 
 

© 2014 Hampshire College 893 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 . 413.549.4600