The college's advisory board met on Friday, May 8, 2009 and offered valuable perspective on the constraints and opportunities we face. Representing a range of disciplines and types of practices, members of the board very much supported our revenue-generating strategy, while urging us to focus, first, on those ideas that build on our strengths and on what we already are doing. Delivering some courses online, offering summer programs for non-traditional students, seeking sponsored research-oriented studios, and fully filling our existing classes were among the tactics the board thought would have the greatest chance of success.
Steven Goldstein, president of the University of Minnesota Foundation, also addressed the advisory board, observing that our college was the only one that has a role in all five areas that the foundation has identified as possible themes for the next campaign: a healthy environment, human health beyond medicine, regional economic development, community-based learning, and internationalization. How effectively we communicate our work in those areas and clarify our uniqueness among other design colleges remains central to our success, said several board members. I couldn't agree more. The more we do what we already excel at, the more people will beat a path to our door.
PS. Don't forget to come to our Graduating Student Exhibition party from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. this Friday, May 15, 2009 in Rapson Hall, and to our commencement at 3 p.m. this Saturday, May 16, 2009 in Northrop Auditorium.