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Question Storming: The Role of Academic Residential Communities and the Future of the Residential University


Week 4:  Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Noon-1:30pm
Location TBD
Lunch will be served
Click here to register

This workshop invites participants to explore the future of teaching and learning within the UO’s residential campus with a particular focus on the emerging Academic Residential Community (ARC) model.  Inspired by Warren Berger's book, A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas, and the work of the Right Question Institute, this highly interactive and co-created session will question storm the most important ideas and questions—rather than brain storm the most plausible solutions and answers—for the challenges and opportunities of undergraduate education within a residential research university. We hope to unearth the most important questions that need to be asked as we look to UO's future in 5, 10, 20 years. 

The institution’s adoption of a mandatory live-on policy beginning in fall 2017 signals a recognition  of the academic benefits of a residential campus, and ARCs represent a signature student experience that align with President Michael Schill’s “Oregon Commitment to Student Access and Success.”  President Schill has identified the delivery “of a rich and diverse experience for students both inside and outside the classroom” as one of his three central objectives, and affirmed the institution’s commitment “to expanding our successful student engagement programs, like Academic Residential Communities and First-Year Interest Groups.”

ARCs remain a nascent idea the UO in contrast to many of our AAU comparators with longstanding and established living learning programs.  The UO ARC Council will soon enter its third year charged with thinking broadly about how to foster strategic interdisciplinary and cross-college partnerships to ensure ARCs engage students in pedagogically innovative and thematically articulated curricular pathways through general education requirements, pre-professional courses, and minor/major curriculum. In fall 2017 a constellation of 19 ARCs housed across eight residence halls will admit a projected 1100 incoming students encompassing partnerships with all eight academic colleges, over 20 majors, and several academic support units (e.g. CMAE, OAA, Dean of Students). Hence, this workshop occurs at a formative moment for this conversation.

Dr. Greg Merritt received his PhD at Michigan State University in the Higher Adult and Lifelong Program with a focus on teaching and learning. He spent almost 30 years as a practitioner in University Housing at both Michigan State and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with an emphasis in the benefits of living/learning communities.  His first role at U of M, Ann Arbor was with the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning where he focused on improving faculty and graduate student instructor teaching.  

As the founding advisor of the First-Gen Students@Michigan student group at U of M, he also has seen the benefits of residential learning communities to enhance and improve outcomes with students with the least agency on our campuses.  

Sponsored by the Division of Undergraduate Studies and University Housing.