Ideas Generated

The planning committee has held a number of meetings and exercises to focus on our key strengths to strongly consider building upon, opportunities for cross-school collaborations, and common points and themes.

Key Strengths to Strongly Consider Building Upon

From meetings and exercises through January 25, 2024
  • The three schools represent a unique set of competencies and opportunities for students to combine experiences from multiple schools. Create more “synergy” between the three schools and academic areas.
  • Combined power and possibility of faculties dedicated to student teaching and experiences. Faculty engagement across disciplines.
  • Strength of student body.
  • Focus on the climate/sustainability/environment.
  • Culture of activism, social change, and justice.
  • Ability to help address societal problems.
  • Sense of global engagement, support for international students, distinctive overseas study opportunities.
  • Redefining liberal arts through entrepreneurship (Bates Center).
  • Accelerated programs/pathways (3-3 BA/JD, 4-1 BA/MAT).
  • Urban-adjacent location in Portland offers a broad range of social and employment opportunities that few institutions—esp. liberal arts colleges—can replicate.
  • Portland engagement and service (e.g., Community Counseling Center, law clinics).
  • Partnership opportunities.
  • Diversity of many types.
  • Relationships that can be leveraged for co-ops, internships, etc.
  • Longstanding interdisciplinary symposia (e.g., gender studies, international affairs, race and ethnic studies). Opportunity for cross-school symposia.
  • College Outdoors & related outdoor/environmental programs.

Focus area: Opportunities for Cross-School Collaborations

  • Climate, sustainability, and the environment
  • Justice (e.g., social justice, legal justice, environmental justice, health justice, social good, public policy)
  • Entrepreneurship and leadership (“entrepreneurial thinking”)
  • Across these themes is a belief that we can and should do better in creating internship/co-op/practicum/overseas/experiential learning opportunities for all students.
  • There are opportunities for greater partnerships to advance these goals. E.g., OHSU, other health care providers, corporations, nonprofits, etc.
  • The Bates Center is seen as a success and potential model for thematic “centers” with leadership and accountability, support, advisory board, etc.
  • Specific underlying programs/degrees
  • Provides a structure for building partnerships
  • Provides a structure for fundraising
  • A role for the new Center for Social Change
  • There is growing alumni/ donor interest in our areas of strength.

Common points and themes from the Dec. 20 differentiation workshop:

  • Environmental sustainability: Many respondents mentioned the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability as a differentiator. This includes things like environmental law programs, sustainability coursework, and opportunities to get involved in environmental activism.
  • Social justice: Another common theme was the college’s focus on social justice. Respondents mentioned things like the college’s diverse student body, its commitment to social justice education, and its support for students who want to make a difference in the world.
  • Experiential learning: Many respondents mentioned the college’s emphasis on experiential learning, such as study abroad programs, internships, and service learning. These opportunities allow students to learn outside the classroom and gain real-world experience.
  • Location: The college’s location in Portland was also mentioned by several respondents as a differentiator.
  • Faculty: The quality of the faculty was also mentioned by several respondents. Students appreciate the fact that the college has small class sizes and that professors are accessible and care about their students.