Fall 2011 Pre-Town Hall Meeting

Tonight’s PTH centered around a great discussion on current initiatives to improve the department, including the current work of the MCP Committee to revise the core curriculum (through the wise words of Xav Briggs), a review of student experiences from last year, and the state of the faculty hiring process.

Xav Briggs shares the current initiatives of the MCP Committee.

Below are the aggregated notecards of issues the group would like to see discussed at Town Hall this year. Please feel free to contact DSC if you would like to add anything!


    - Student advising: how can faculty advising be improved?
    -Thesis: timeline for thesis decision and explanation of what and when things are expected should come earlier and be clearer.
    - Advising isn’t useful


    - More intensive career counseling earlier in the program
    - More staff.
    - Improve career service—need to be more like HKS or Sloan if possible.- #1 issue is jobs, how are we preparing DUSP students for careers?
    - With many cities, counties, and state reducing planning staff, where are we going to work?


    - Create more opportunities for sharing knowledge and information across program groups
    - Lack of visibility/ presence of leadership of top leadership
    - Who and where are the decisions being made and how?
    - Website and online communication in general needs improvement
    - Career development and degree requirements are poorly represented
    - The value of town hall itself (is this worth doing at all? Does anything change because of this?


    - Making gateway more tangible and focused on practical skills
    - Program groups seem to create artificial boundaries between students and professors and are impediments to collaboration
    - Opportunities for elections in the first semester for MCP students
    - Gateway is useless
    - PhD course offerings
    - More practical experience (require 2 practicums)
    - Reimagine the purpose and structure of gateway
    - Students know the curriculum best. We sit thru classes, Why aren’t we more involved with curriculum review?
    - I think more conversation needs to be had around flexibility with curriculum such that we get the most out of our 4 semesters.
    - I’d like to see more opportunities to engage in real-world community development/ planning
    - Making the core relevant for students and maybe this can relate to advising?
    - Thesis requirement and finding an advisor is aggravating
    - “Boot Camp” and/r pre-MCP 1 summer Semester to cover core subjects and/or build skills.
    - Core curriculum, particularly Gateway
    - Undergrads would like a curriculum that maintains a high level of flexibility, reduces the amount of overlap in the required core, provides design skills and practice based experience.
    - MCPs seem to find gateway useless, but it is especially useless for SB/MCP students who have taken classes that cover very similar material.
    - Would like to see stronger focus on critical thinking as opposed to being taught how to do what’s already been done.


    - Will there be targeted recruitment for Minority Faculty Members?
    - Will faculty members have a social justice/ equity focus?
    - I want to know how DUSP will strengthen (as opposed to lose) it’s international and community focus edge?
    - What is the formal structure and policier that are deciding the hiring process?
    - I’m worried about IDG professors
    - How will the faculty vacancies in IDG be filled?
    - How involved are students in faculty hiring?
    - What is the future of IDG? Right now there are no voices for Latin America or Africa among the faculty?
    - Faculty Hiring
    - Most effective/ helpful way to impact faculty hiring?
    - I think more information/conversation around how the future of the department is being determining and what role we might have in it is important.
    - Which faculty positions are being hired for in IDG?
    - How do we attract visionary faculty?
    - A clear explanation of the faculty hiring vision and process?
    - I want to know the decision of faculty hiring is being taken and how can students be involved(besides suggestions of emailing people)
    - Who makes decision in faculty hiring?
    - Openness of the process, student participation, transparency on timeline, themes
    - Focus on regional/metropolitan scale analysis and planning (and suburban revitalization/ retrofitting) are not currently well-represented in our department.


    - The most difficult thing about choosing to come here and one of my biggest concerns now that I’m here.
    - Student Loans
    - I’m putting my education on a credit card.
    - Curriculum how can we integrate social justice?
    - How can we incorporate urban sociology and other social sciences into the curriculum?


    - How is DUSP and its agenda, position, strategy changing with respect to changing socio-economic political situation in the world?
    - Reorganization of Department, how do we preserve what DUSP is known for (why students have chosen to come) while defining a clear vision for where we are going in 510 years.
    - How do we think about innovation, anticipating future problems/opportunities in the field of planning


One Comment

  1. daniel broid wrote:

    Just FYI, the two last bullets in funding should probably go in curriculum.
    Second comment: i would like to participate in next week’s meeting. This is a very important town hall, one in which the department can really start straightening up the way it communicates with students. I don’t want to be involved in all the actual decisions, but want to know how they are being taken. We are in a position to demand certain responses from the department, its not confrontational or aggressive, and is the perfect venue to give clear responses to students and faculty and quiet down gossip, dissent, etc.

    Thanks for organizing and putting all of this together. Cheers!