In January 2007, McMurry’s President, Dr. John Russell, charted out a bold plan for McMurry’s future. The plan is called Vision 2023 and calls for McMurry to become a regional leader in science education and science teacher preparation. A central component of this vision was the call for curricular and pedagogical innovation, and the provision of spaces and resources in support of these changes. The text of President Russell’s presentation can be found at: http://www.mcm.edu/newsite/web/univ_relations/univ_update.htm
The first major step in transforming spaces for innovation in teaching and research is not far away. McMurry science faculty have been invited to participate in a competition this August to propose renovated spaces to enable curricular and pedagogical innovation. Teams of faculty from a variety of departments are readying their concepts of what McMurry lab spaces might look like for supporting exciting new ways of teaching and learning. Judging the competition will be board members, cabinet members and others who will match the vision for science spaces with Dr. Russell’s vision for the future. The winning proposal will be funded with renovation anticipated to start next summer. The other proposals will provide ideas for Advancement to use in soliciting funds for support of the sciences. A recap of the competition and overview of each proposal will be the topic of a future entry on this page.
So what will a successful proposal look like? It will call for new ways of teaching that are research-rich and skills-laden, and ask for formation of spaces that enable these changes. It will focus on what a McMurry graduate should know and have the ability to do to be successful in the workforce and professions of 2023. It will broaden research opportunities for faculty and their students so that students are citizens of science rather than tourists. It takes a first bold step on the journey from the past perspectives of science and spaces where they are taught into science for tomorrow’s student and professional in an ever-changing world.