Key Attributes of
The Great University


  1. The Great University shall have, as its overriding goal, the preparation of people as citizens of a free society, by designing and implementing high-quality learning opportunities. Directly associated with this goal, the Great University has precisely three high-level objectives that define its purpose in more detail.

  2. The Great University establishes and maintains a physical location, called the University Observatorium, which provides an open opportunity for anyone to observe key aspects of the institution

  3. Each of the three high-level objectives is augmented by extensive connected subordinate material, which provides both:
    • further definition of the purpose, in graduated detail, from general to specific
    • clear connection of the university's administrative organi-zation to those objectives
  4. The Great University connects those three objectives to three time periods which separately and collectively, cover past, present, and future.

  5. The Great University correlates those three objectives directly to values that inhere internally to the Great University, as the primary source of esthetical and ethical validation for choosing those objectives.

  6. Subsidiary only to those internally-dominant values, the three objectives are correlated as well with external values relevant to the society at large; and every opportunity is taken to stress how these two distinct value sets are connected in both logic and in time.

  7. The Great University acknowledges that high quality of its educational outcomes is more important than the amount and diversity of its educational outcomes; it will not sacrifice high quality for short-term advantage, or for any other time-defined urgency.

  8. The Great University learns from the experience of all other universities within its purview, but will not trade its values for short-term expediency related to educational fads, especially in its educational offerings for students of the professions, where fads are high in prominence.

  9. The Great University acknowledges that infrastructural needs vary from subject to subject, and that no infrastructure will be established under the assumption that "one size fits all".

  10. The Great University maintains a balanced administrative practice, in which immunity from potentially destructive external demands is weighed against immunity from individual faculty irresponsibility, and establishes tenure practices that reflect this balance.

  11. The Great University acknowledges its responsibility to make decisions concerning the relative value of educational offerings, both within and across disciplines or organizational units, and establishes a continual open dialog about choices among such offerings in the University Observatorium.

  12. The Great University acknowledges the fallibility of all of its personnel and all of its offerings; and makes provision for responding constructively to periodic challenges from any responsible source.

  13. The Great University chooses its administrative personnel based upon "track records" in education that are sufficient to establish a strong likelihood that good insights and responsible behavior will ensue in those roles, based on those track records.

  14. The Great University will not substitute written rules and regulations for responsible judgment anywhere in the institution. Guidelines may be established where absolutely necessary, but no member of the Great University is bound to follow them.

  15. The Great University will not give primacy to rules of procedure that detract from faculty academic performance, the faculty member being the final judge of such impact.

  16. The faculty member of the Great University will prepare an annual plan showing how that faculty member's anticipated activity is responsive to the highest ideals represented in the three high- level objectives of the Great University. This plan will be openly available in the University Observatorium. The same faculty member will later prepare a self-evaluation of what was achieved, based upon the plan, and this will also be openly available. These materials can be the basis for challenges from any responsible source.