Thanks PJ and John, friends both (at least in some deep potential way, if not in current actuality [so to speak]) for frank assessments that have merit that leads us to alternative conclusions about the move. I want to briefly state the case--as I do in a piece I just sent at Erik's (Badger, Class of 1997) suggestion to Promulgates--that what is needed is not so much to line up as for or against as to think of a third way. My proposed third way is to design a "test pilot" program (say 12 students [taking 3 or 4 classes each] and 2 faculty members [teaching 3 classes (two cores, one elective) each] on the campus of a prospective partner institution for one semester, sharing classes with some [maybe 15-20] students from the host insitution [taking one class each]) which could then be pitched to--and carried out at--perhaps 3 area institutions seen as suitable potential partners over 2006-2007. A way of figuring out and comparing the relative quality of the interaction at each institution would be discussed and voted on in advance, and then, at the conclusion of the pilots, a vote would be taken to (a) rank the potential partners, and then (b) pursue a detailed partnership offer with them, if desired. This partnership would then begin in 2008-2009--not so very long from now really, and surely soon enough to fix whatever could be fixed by moving in 2006-2007.
If you are interested in this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can send the draft to you (if you like). (You can also email me to say that it sounds like a worthless idea, but please don't as my fragile ego will be crushed. Instead, please say that it doesn't make much sense. That seems gentler.)
Love and best wishes to all,
(and under-slept and over-worked) Michael