Monday Minute, January 31, 2011


In my last Monday Minute, I outlined how we might absorb future budget cuts by growing tuition revenue, although how much depends, in part, upon how many courses our students take in this college versus others. There are many pedagogical reasons for our students to take non-CDES classes. However, we have had a negative balance of trade in recent years, with more of our students enrolled in courses elsewhere than we have had students from other colleges taking our offerings, and so achieving a better balance in this area seems like a worthwhile goal.

Several units identified that goal in their strategic plans, although achieving it can present some challenges. Getting Council of Liberal Education (CLE) approval of courses, for example, can be time-consuming and difficult, and as the number of colleges offering CLE courses increases, the competition for students also intensifies. Nevertheless, we need to do everything we can to develop such courses, since they not only bring in more revenue, but also increase our visibility in the University, expose others to our disciplines, and serve as an effective way of recruiting transfer students.

Barb Martinson (DHA), who sits on the University's CLE committee, mentioned last week that one thematic area - Technology and Society - remains considerably undersubscribed, so this might be one area we concentrate on. If you have a course idea that has a strong technical focus and that also places the subject in a larger social context, do consider proposing it. We will all benefit.

Lastly, I learned that Patrick Sullivan (BArch, 1968) passed away this past week, which was sudden since I just had dinner with him and his wife, Cindy, earlier this month in California. Patrick served on the CALA advisory board and established a fellowship, the Patrick and Cindy Sullivan Family Fellowship, to support M.Arch students. He had his own practice in Claremont, CA. and taught at Cal Poly-Pomona.