Thursday, December 01, 2005

Practice Critical Thinking

Question: What is the fundamental problem that this move potentially solves?

Answer: How can we attract and retain more students?

Answer: How we we recruit more students?

Answer: How can we market the college to Chicago consumers?

Answer: How can we make more money?

Warrant: Is it true that if Shimer College relocates to IIT that it will attract and retain more students?

Rebuttal: What are some reasons why relocating to IIT could result in losing students and not attracting students?

Rebuttal: Why might students be attracted to or comfortable with studying at the Shimer College campus?

Rebuttal: Why might someone seeking a liberal arts experience choose to not go for a liberal arts education at a technical university and choose to go to a more traditional liberal arts college or university?

Rebuttal: Why would someone seeking a hard-core great books liberal arts education choose Shimer College at IIT versus St Johns College, which I would highly recommend as the best alternative to Shimer College, if Shimer College moves to IIT?

4 comments :

Noah Kippley-Ogman said...

Michael, I'm not sure that I understand the structure of yoru argument, but if you're saying the following, I agree with you completely and I wish there were more discussion surrounding the issue you raise:

"All of the given reasons for the move to Chicago (other than physical plant issues) seem tenuous and poorly reasoned."

I believe firmly that the issue that the proposed move would solve is the issue of our current physical plant deteriorating. I'm pretty sure that a solution to that issue doesn't bring with it necessarily the solution to the enrollment and retention problems - no matter what others may have said, I haven't yet seen anything to convince me.

I'm pretty sure that this particular solution to physical plant problems brings with it a whole can of worms.

So, uh, I think you missed the one reason that I see clearly in favor of moving, but well articulated my concerns over what seems to be explicitly or implicitly promised as a direct result of the proposed move. Thanks.

Noah Kippley-Ogman said...

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that we need to stop trying to take St John's market share - Shimer's curriculum is different, our dialogical nature is more fully developed, our style is more flamboyant than buttoned-down, etc.

We're looking for different sets of people, I think.

Snorey said...

I guess the biggest question for me is : What makes us think that staying in Waukegan would be any safer than moving?

Inspector Michael D . . . said...

I think I have figured out the problem to my own question. Shimer College must be banking on cross-enrollment, students fulfilling their liberal arts requirements, marketing to Chicago consumers, and recruiting IIT students.