May 28, 2002
Contact: Travis Fahey
Posted: May 28, 2002
VT- A conference for residential deans will
be held at Middlebury College from June 10-12 to give college administrators
across the country an opportunity to discuss a gradual nation-wide shift
toward a living and learning or commons residential system.
commons system, as it is known at Middlebury, groups students, faculty
and staff into neighborhoods of the college by creating mini-campuses
bound together by dorms, dining halls and academic spaces. Currently,
Middlebury College is completing the first in a series of renovations
and additions to its commons system at Ross Commons and is working on
major improvements to Atwater Commons.
colleges like Middlebury, the commons system is a relatively new and exciting
way to create smaller communities within the larger campus. But for some
of the nations oldest universities, such as Harvard, Yale, their
house and college systems are a tried and true method of binding students,
faculty and staff together. Yet college officials from universities both
familiar and new to this kind of residential model rarely, if ever, share
their vision on a national level, a gap Middlebury College officials are
trying to bridge.
deans from different campuses dont really talk to each other that
often, and theres a lot to talk about, especially as we work to
complete our commons system, said John Mangan, dean of Ross Commons
at Middlebury College.
Mark Ryan, professor of international relations and history at Universidad
de las Américas-Puebla (UDLA) in Mexico and a recognized expert
on development of residential commons, the importance of bringing the
deans together relates directly to the increasing awareness that education
is about more than intellectual development.
are colleges all over the world that are starting to recognize the importance
of the Anglo-American educational model started by the British and adopted
by the early American universities. The Anglo-American model provides
a far-reaching concept of education that reaches beyond educational training
to the concept of developing the student on a personal level, i.e. developing
not just the intellectual side of the student but the whole person,
added that the conference will allow administrators to begin networking,
which will not only benefit universities in America, but those in China,
Africa, Russia, Germany and Mexico that have recently expressed an interest
in adopting the commons model.
33 residential deans from universities across the country, including Harvard,
Princeton, Dartmouth and Yale, plan to attend the Middlebury conference.
Speakers of note will include Middlebury College President John McCardell,
who will discuss the commons system at Middlebury, and Ryan.
was dean of the Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University for more than
20 years prior to joining the UDLA faculty in 1997, where he was also
asked to develop a residential college system. Ryan is also the author
of A Collegiate Way of Living, which is widely regarded as
the preeminent book on residential colleges. Ryan will lead a discussion
on the complexities of developing a new residential system.
Robert OHara, who served as a resident tutor at Harvard Universitys
Dudley House and was the principal founder of Cornelia Strong College
at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), will also speak
at the conference. OHara is an evolutionary biologist and serves
as a consultant to colleges and universities establishing residential
commons. He will present a slide show highlighting his development of
a new commons at UNCG.
three-day event will culminate with a tour of Ross Commons and closing
remarks by McCardell. For more information, contact Travis Fahey at (802)
443-5794 or email@example.com.
on the topics, times and meeting places for the conference follows
College Conference for Residential Deans, June 10-12, Bread Loaf Inn,
Route 125, Ripton.
Schedule provided for medias convenience only.*****
event is not open to the public. *****
MONDAY, JUNE 10
Noon-5 p.m. Registration: Bread Loaf Inn lobby
p.m. Opening dinner at the Bread Loaf Inn: The Commons Initiative at Middlebury
Ron Liebowitz, provost; and Tim Spears, associate provost, Middlebury
7:30-8:30 a.m. Breakfast at the Bread Loaf Inn
a.m. Discussion Session I: Student Needs: As They Evolve, How Does
Our Work Change?
Leader: John Loge, dean of Timothy Dwight College, Yale University
p.m. Discussion Session II: Drugs and Alcohol: Strategies and New
Approaches in Addressing These Perennial Concerns
Leaders: John Mangan, dean of Ross Commons, Middlebury College; Maria
Trumpler, senior tutor of Quincy House, Harvard University
p.m. Lunch at the Bread Loaf Inn
p.m. Discussion Session III: Deaning, Teaching and Scholarship:
Balancing Our Own Life of the Mind With the Lives and Needs of Our Students
Leader: Mark Schenker, associate dean of Yale College and dean of academic
affairs, Yale University
p.m. Outdoors time: hiking, tennis, golf
p.m. Barbecue at the Bread Loaf Inn
7:30-8:30 A.M. Breakfast at the Bread Loaf Inn
a.m. Discussion Session IV: Building community within a diverse
Leaders: David Edleson, dean of Cook Commons, Middlebury College; Anne
Mickle, house dean of Stouffer College house, University of Pennsylvania
a.m. Checkout and head to Middlebury Campus
p.m. Tour of campus and Ross Commons
Closing remarks: John McCardell, Middlebury College