It was with much excitement that I greeted Amy Glasmeier’s, Judith Layzer’s, and Mary Jane Daly’s email late Wednesday night:
Dear DUSP Alumnus/a,
Department head Amy Glasmeier has charged a faculty committee, the DUSP 2015 committee, with proposing a vision to guide the department as we move forward. The context for this initiative is, of course, a worldwide recession that is likely to result in fewer resources for every department at MIT. But we regard this time of limited funding as an opportunity to focus our efforts more strategically. Therefore, the DUSP 2015 committee is stepping back and thinking about what cutting-edge planners should be doing and how they should be trained.
We would greatly appreciate the input of alumni/ae who are already putting their degrees to meaningful use and, presumably, have ideas about the kinds of expertise their future employees and colleagues ought to have. To that end, we would like to ask you to take a few moments to complete a short survey.
So, alums, check your inboxes (mail from Mary Jane, date 4/22, subject “[Mit_dusp] Alumni/ae Survey – Important Addendum”), get the link to this very brief survey, and participate! The DEADLINE is Wednesday 4/29 Thursday 4/30.
We in this Alumni-Student Group encourage you to participate in this survey as it is an important first step in the department’s goal setting with regard to “identifying what the most serious problems facing the world in the early 21st century, and how [DUSP] can contribute to addressing those problems” (personal email from JLayzer, 4/24/09). Apparently, there will be future opportunities to participate, and the next steps in the coming months will be more focused.
Here are the questions so that you might give them some thought:
1. In a short paragraph, please venture a guess as to the kind of work you would like to be doing in 2015.
2. In two or three sentences each, please suggest what you think should be the three core educational and research themes of DUSP in 2015, and why. (The idea here is to think about where the field of planning is, and should be, going. As the nation’s top planning school, we should be setting the direction.)
3. In one or two sentences each, please state the three main skills and competencies that you believe students with a degree from DUSP in 2015 should have, and why.
Please do not delay. You have only 6 days to contribute your perspective.
– Gena (MCP’07)