Sep '04 - Feb '05
Interesting comments on the site about MIT's head search. Mostly quiet murmurs about it around here. Some student reps in the search have expressed surprise, but definately were not privy to all things impacting the decision.
A lot of the debate seems to have come down to commitment.
Taking E.O.Moss comment that the head of SCI-Arc "doesn't do a goddamn thing" with a grain of salt, how much can an institution expect from its faculty when a portion of their value is embedded in active practice? I found MIT profs to be extremely accessible even while balancing projects around the globe. It's extremely valuable to see practice in action.
But teaching is very different from managing. Administration bring contacts, resources, and reputations to bear on hiring new faculty and creating new programs. But that's only if their actively pursueing these options. How much time does it take to form and enact a VISION for a program? Even if that vision is simply to effectively maintain current practices. Why does it appear that to some places the head is a rubber stamp position? A token endorsement, validation of shared values. Virtual culture and communication possibilities aside, face time still adds a lot to really understand a program and what it needs and how to meet those needs. I wonder how many schools can really attribute their character, drive, and direction to their administration?
I'm excited to see how this all gets sorted out. Lawd knows I'll be here long enough!