The traditional conception of a university encourages a concentration on rigor
at the expense of relevance, on education at the expense of training, and on individual
learning at the expense of organizational learning. "Plan for a New University"
signifies a new conception of a university (explained in the What
section) that encompasses
Rigor and Relevance
Education and Training
Individual and Organizational Learning
as a seamless whole. This avoids imposing a procrustean bed on students who must
choose between a broad liberal arts education and narrow technical skills training,
or on executives who must today turn to consulting firms for organizational learning
services that a new university could provide.
The plan has drawn upon ideas generously offered by the participants listed on
the Who page. Although the feedback to date has been most
supportive, this represents the ideas of this author (Brad
Cox) and not the opinions of the group as a whole.
The links in the left panel lead to the following sections of this plan.
- The three markets we might address: traditional Degree- or Certificate-based
Education, Just in Time Training, and Just in Time Education (organizational change
consulting). Concludes with the latest version of Mark Draper's business plan.
- The main part of this document: a bottom-up (technically grounded) plan for addressing
these three markets at low cost.
- Interdisciplinary: This describes
an approach to the integration of theory and practice that may satisfy competing
"academic rigor" versus "relevance to industry" concerns within
- Modular: This describes tasks as a unit
of modularity that is much smaller than the traditional 3-credit course, and how
tasks could be assembled into products tuned to the needs of diverse markets.
- Use the right tool for
the job: This lists several technologies that seem appropriate at this point
and argues that they can and should be used in combination.
- Specialized Roles
and Responsibilities: This lists roles needed for preparation and delivery
of tasks and their assembly into specific academic products (eg courses).
- Coordination Technology:
This describes coordination technology's role within this plan by contrasting communication
technologies goal (telephones, email, web conferencing tools) of amplifying signal
and noise with coordination technologies goal of amplifying signal alone.
- This is currently an email message from Lewis Perelman that provides estimates
that may be useful. This will be changed and expanded over time.
- This will be completed when I have a better idea of how and when we plan to begin.
- This lists the participants in the dialog that led to this plan.
- Describes the web-based task infrastructure I developed for my teaching. I've
kept this short and non-technical. Its goal is to show that the infrastructure needed
for the task-based modularity approach already exists.
- Execution Plan
- A plan for how to execute the mission described in the What section.
Updated June 26, 1998 By Brad Cox