Pleasant Surprise

Today, the local paper includes a story about NDSU's budget request. One tasty morsel in the story was a request to renovate the building that I work in. Now, I don't use this blog to bludgeon those who disagree with my scholarly agenda or to embarass my colleagues or institution, so I haven't complained about the state of the facility. In fact, because institutional innovation makes up the core of my research agenda, I am loathe to use new media to remediate old complaints. Instead, I have branched out into distributed approaches to my workspace--I do most of my work in coffeeshops and at a home office. I have even gone so far as to informally theorize ways of translating the work done in classroom spaces into more personal and distributed settings (a HUGE reason for doing civic engagement, service learning, and other peripatetic pedagogical approaches)

Still, it is nice to see the governor and the university administration agreeing that renovating such a beautiful building (at a low price) is a good idea. It will make it much easier to attract good faculty and graduate students. We have already gotten a really solid stable of scholars and colleagues-in-training, and this move will make that process even easier. Most exciting for me is the possibility of using my faculty office more extensively to help our undergraduate students. With the cramped quarters (we have several parts of the building fenced off because it just isn't safe there), it is tough to find enough space to hold office conferences or even meet for office hours.

Here's hoping that this early budget agreement signals a chance to maximize our department's considerable talent with spaces that facilitate knowledge work.

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