Greetings from Dean Maxfield — October 2020
Alan Watts, the author and scholar of Eastern philosophy, once said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
Our immediate and ongoing response to the pandemic necessitated change. Reckoning with systemic racism has compelled us to move. And though the return to campus has presented daunting challenges, we have joined the dance, and I am confident that we’ll emerge stronger as a result.
These crises have accelerated the adoption of technology-enhanced teaching and learning methods within the PCSB and the College. The confluence of increased awareness of systemic racism and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented populations spurred us to double down on our commitment to diversity work, a core focus of the PCSB’s strategic plan.
In November, our Michael Smith Ethics Case Competition will move to a virtual format with an accompanying teacher training conference. As a result, it has attracted national and international participants. In the coming months, we will convene alumni panels and networking events via Zoom. This format allows our students to hear from experts in business whom they wouldn’t typically have the opportunity to meet in person because of time or travel constraints.
Agile strategy is a familiar concept in the business world, but until recently, agility hasn’t been a quality one would typically associate with the world of higher education. But, as Watts suggested, we’re making sense of change. We’re moving with it. And we’ve joined the dance.
How will the dance play out? And where will the next steps lead us? That remains unclear, but one thing is certain: change will come again, and when it does, we will embrace it as an opportunity to improve the PCSB experience in ways big and small.
Sylvia Maxfield, Ph.D.