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.

Contents

The links in the left panel lead to the following sections of this plan.

What
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.
 
How
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 this group.
 
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.
 
Why
This is currently an email message from Lewis Perelman that provides estimates that may be useful. This will be changed and expanded over time.
 
When
This will be completed when I have a better idea of how and when we plan to begin.
 
Who
This lists the participants in the dialog that led to this plan.
 
Infrastructure
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