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Trustees meet in Calif., approve building plans

February 18, 2011

The future is looking bright. Monmouth College’s Board of Trustees met this month in La Quinta, Calif. to discuss long-term strategies for the college.

The board decided upon seven strategies to guide the college in the future. According to President Mauri Ditzler, the board’s main concern is ensuring students are engaged in their education.

“Learning activities should go well beyond the classroom,” said Ditzler. “We want students learning by doing.”

In addition, the board affirmed integrated learning is important to the Monmouth experience.

“That’s what the world’s about,” said Ditzler. Understanding how different sets of knowledge and skills interact can aid graduates when they enter graduate school or the job market.

“Our whole campus ought to be designed to reinforce our approach to learning,” said Ditzler of  other strategies the board outlined.

Ditzler said newer buildings should have fewer lecture halls and more space for hands-on projects, internships, and seminar courses. They should also have room for students and professors to meet and work together outside of class.

To do this, the board approved plans to construct a new science and business building. It will be the first academic building since the construction of the Wells Theater and the first classrooms built in 50 years.

The board also wanted to focus more on increasing academic excellence. Ditzler explained that housing, athletic and other needs can interfere with this focus, but that the college has addressed most infrastructure concerns.

“We don’t have a lot of other distractions,” said Ditzler. “Let’s focus on making this the best academic institution possible.”

Ditzler plans  to open a dialogue with faculty and students about the board’s strategies over the semester.

He also acknowledges that much of the board’s strategies may not seem new.

“They took ten years of dreaming and said ‘These are our most important dreams,’” said Ditzler.

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