Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Limited Resources Only Limit on Potential

Anything worth having is scarce. It's a law of nature or something. What would a diamond be worth if you could grow them in your yard?

Today was the faculty retreat for the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. I was dreading the day. But I was wrong. I actually had a really good day.

We broke up into groups twice today. The first group was to work on the strategic plan (download PDF). That sounds like horrid work. I was on a strategic planning committee as an undergraduate. I thought that I might die. But today was great.

My group worked on Goal #2, Academic Excellence. I actually enjoyed looking into our goals, evaluating our benchmarks for achieving our goals, and making suggestions for changes. I suppose that strategic planning is not all that bad when you really care about what is being planned.

After lunch we split into departments. The advertising faculty broke off and discussed assessment, or how we are going to figure out whether our students are learning what we want them to learn.

Although assessment is a rather dull topic, I really like our advertising faculty. We talked about what is offered in our courses, what needs to be improved, and what else we can do to offer more to our students.

I love talking about new classes. I get so excited about the possibilities. But then the reality sets in. There were 7 of us sitting around that table. With various course reductions, we will make an effort just to cover the core classes. If only we had more faculty. If only we had more money.

Advertising is the largest major in the college, and with our talented and student-friendly faculty, I expect that our majors will continue to grow. I look forward to the challenge, and I look forward to finding a way to teach captivating electives in addition to our core classes.

It's a challenge to do it correctly. We cannot sacrifice quality. We cannot overburden our graduate students with too many sections. It's difficult. Budgets are difficult. Resources are always scarce. Those in charge of budgets have my admiration.

We could always use more money, but it sure is an exciting time to be at Tech. A few minutes ago I looked at the clock, and I caught myself wishing that I could hurry up and go to sleep so that it would be morning, and I could go to work. Yeah, it's twisted. But it's a heck of a feeling to feel that way about your job.


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