The future of higher education is always a hot topic - though it can be difficult to predict from this side of the arch, front-loaded as we are with the present, if not the past. That being said, there are important elements of what we do and teach that, if arranged differently, could re-inforce traditional disiciplines and provide next-generation skills in the context in which they will be needed.
For example, this Baltimore Magazine article highlights a ground-breaking new partnership between the Maryland Institute College of Art and John Hopkins University Carey Business School. Right in the middle of it, of course, is a former UGA undergrad:
“I was looking for a mix of MBA and design,” says first-year Design Leadership student Julie Buisson, a native of France who has lived in the U.S. for the past 10 years. Buisson moved from Athens, GA, to Baltimore for the Design Leadership program after discovering it through a Google search. Dressed in a bulky, mustard-yellow sweater and holding a mug of coffee and a well-loved Moleskin journal, Buisson fits the picture of an art student, though she earned her undergraduate degree—in marketing, with an emphasis in sales—at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
“At Georgia, all of my friends were art students,” she says. “They showed me a different way of working. I took some art classes, and I realized that creativity is something you work on just like anything else.”
With the Design Leadership program, she’s filling a gap in her education. It’s the same for her classmates, who come from varied backgrounds, including architecture, nonprofits, photography, and even the oil industry. “There is something more that’s driving us,” says Buisson. “We all believe we should be trained as creatives—it’s just as important as being trained in analytics.”
Read the whole thing. The 'business model to bridge different worlds,' as construed in the article, cuts in many different directions, far beyond just business. When one of the architects of the new program says
“The business person who’s got that more humanistic platform is going to be less brittle than someone who’s just trained in business.”
it is not to take anything away from business - rather it is to add to it. We must be sufficiently secure in our disciplines to consider expanding them, joining them, disrupting them, in the common parlance. To enhance our graduates' skills and abilities is the key. The academic capacity is here - a large liberal arts learning environment has everything. Let's encourage people - faculty, students, staff - to discover new ways to integrate our strengths and leverage our collaborative capacity.
Image: Costumes for the Ballet russes Parade, 1917. Répertoire de la compagnie des Ballets russes directed by Serge Diaghilev; Argument : Jean Cocteau, Musique : Eric Satie. Décors et costumes : Pablo Picasso. Chorégraphie originale : Léonide Massine. via Wikimedia Commons.