THE GREAT UNIVERSITY: KEY ATTRIBUTES
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- The Great University connects those three objectives to three time periods
which separately and collectively, cover past, present, and future.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.