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Launch Update from Academic Innovation Planning Group

The process of engaging the college’s constituencies was extraordinarily successful

Dear Hampshire College Community,

The mandate of the Academic Innovation Planning Group (AIPG) is to develop and carry out a process of community involvement to identify a viable way forward, true to the college’s mission, within a very tight time-frame. Together with Ed and the Board of Trustees, we believe that Hampshire needs a bold move to show that we will regain our edge as leaders in higher education.

The process of engaging the college’s constituencies was extraordinarily successful, and a hybrid model emerged from the discussions across all constituents as the strongest, most viable model. A description of the hybrid framework will be available in constituent discussions this week. This inclusive process enabled us to arrive organically at a way forward that is bold, exciting, and reinvigorates the spirit of Hampshire.

Over five weeks, we as a community — across a series of weekly constituent meetings and three cross-constituent meetings — agreed upon principles and moved through iterations of models. AIPG synthesized feedback from the most recent cross-constituent discussions to begin developing a hybrid framework that takes the most exciting elements of Model A and Model B and minimizes elements that raised concerns. We believe the resulting framework consolidates the input of all constituencies and constitutes a strong collective vision. We are excited that the Board is supportive of the models we presented to you, and that therefore we can pursue the one that emerged most clearly from this process. We will build a community-wide process later this semester to further develop and design implementation of the framework for future students beginning with the Fall 2020 class.

To answer any questions about the process and the resulting framework, AIPG will host meetings this week:

Staff:  Thursday, October 10 from 10-11 a.m. in the West Lecture Hall, Franklin Patterson Hall

Students:  Thursday, October 10 from 12-1 p.m. in West Lecture Hall, Franklin Patterson Hall 

Alums and parents: A virtual Zoom conference Thursday, October 10 at 7 p.m.

Faculty: Monday, October 7 from 4:30-6 p.m. and Tuesday, October 8 from 4-5:30pm - both in West Lecture Hall, Franklin Patterson Hall.  (Two different times are offered to accommodate faculty schedules.)

At Thursday’s faculty meeting, AIPG will address questions from the faculty and then ask the faculty to endorse the hybrid curricular framework, and by this weekend, the Board of Trustees will confirm our direction.  Any future changes in degree requirements would require faculty approval.

Our gratitude to everyone who participated in this process.  It demonstrates our community’s resilience and points to an exciting future for Hampshire.

The Academic Innovation Planning Group:

  • Andrew Arnold, alum, 84F
  • Javiera Benavente, director, ethics and the common good program
  • Aaron Berman, interim dean of advising, special assistant to the dean of faculty for retention and academic innovation
  • Mary Bombardier, assistant dean of community engagement and director of CPSC
  • Chris Cianfrani, associate professor of hydrology (NS)
  • Rachel Conrad, professor of childhood studies (CSI)
  • Christoph Cox, professor of philosophy (HACU)
  • Yaniris Fernandez, associate vice president of academic affairs
  • Deborah Goffe, assistant professor of modern/contemporary dance (HACU)
  • Salman Hameed, associate professor of integrated science and humanities (CS)
  • David Ko, director of spiritual life and international student advisor
  • Matthew Lavallee, student, 16F
  • Nicole le Roux, alum, F09
  • Emery Powell, student, 16F
  • Eva Rueschmann, dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs
  • Natalie Sowell, associate professor of theatre (IA), dean of interdisciplinary arts and dean of institutional diversity and inclusion
  • Pam Tinto, associate dean of students
  • Ed Wingenbach, president
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