I’m not running a university. But, if I did, here’s 5 things I’d love to see happen on the campus–the hypothetical campus I ran. Ready?
1. A sustainability program – preferably required as part of residential living on campus. See this example for cool ideas (and yes, there could be a trash recycling major by separating your garbage into 34 different types!) I’d love to see circle stores on college campuses – it would be a mix of sustainability, entrepreneurship, commerce/business, and even a gathering place or third space (see Gather NC as an example–the old store front, not just the new pocket one).
2. Life skills badge – again, common sense stuff here, like #1 above, or budgeting, or balancing a checkbook, paying bills on time, assessing whether a house should be purchased, and/or buying major ticket items, like cars vs. living closer to work. Even how to wash that laundry – really.
3. Cooking – So, the medicine students have to do it at Tulane, and now a bunch of OTHER med schools are requiring it – so why not all of us, or at least the other health care professions, if our real goal is to keep everyone well?
4. Let’s go back to #1 and talk about teaching students how to MAKE STUFF. Or at least FIX STUFF. IKEA wants you to stop throwing their stuff away. Why not start a campus circle store and make stuff out of recycled stuff? Again, this is repeating #1, but you get the gist… people need to reconnect with making stuff with their HANDS.
5. Cold, hard cash for ideas – former president of Drexel University, Costantine Papadakis, used to give away cold hard cash to students for really solid ideas on improving their college experiences. I really like this idea, because it puts the money right where higher education should be focused: on IDEAS. On making the world a better place, or at least our own corners of it. If he could do it, why couldn’t the rest of us?