I often say that it is a privilege to be able to do what I do…and it is. I’m thankful for it. Even so, I’m reminded that higher education as we know it is going through substantial changes. In only a few years the world I and others like me have long known may be passing away into a new paradigm.
A recent episode of Downton Abbey gave me pause to think this morning. Early in this new season, Lord Grantham faces challenges that threaten to overwhelm his family’s estate. In changing times, he says, he feels “like a creature in the wild whose natural habitat is gradually being destroyed.”
Mine is a different life and a different era, but I’m right there with him. Whether or not the smaller undergraduate colleges we have known for decades can stay afloat in such turbulent and advancing times is one question; whether those that do will look anything like they do now is another.
For now, though, there is work to be done…and much for which to be thankful. Let’s begin the Spring Semester of 2013!