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(July 2009) — Babson College, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Olin College), and Wellesley College share a commitment to liberal arts and undergraduate education. Their geographic proximity and complementary curricula provide opportunities to exploit the synergies inherent in their location and mission. Recognizing the benefits to all parties of our ever-increasing collaboration, the presidents of Babson College, Olin College, and Wellesley College are committed to deepening these relationships. To this end, we would like the faculty, staff, and students to take steps to promote and facilitate long-term forms of cooperation among the three institutions.
Current Levels of Collaboration
Fortunately, we have a good foundation from which to begin the deepening of these relationships. Some examples of the current areas of cooperation include:
• Cross registration for courses unavailable at the student's home campus, based on availability and at no cost to the student.
• Courses offered by faculty from one college on the campus of another, at no cost. (Examples include introductory accounting and law courses offered by faculty from Babson College on the campus of Wellesley College; courses in anthropology, immunology, mathematical modeling, human genetics, and introductory engineering offered by Olin College faculty on the campus of Wellesley College; course in Chinese offered by Wellesley College faculty at Babson; etc.)
• Jointly appointed faculty members on two or more campuses. (Examples include faculty in science and technology entrepreneurship jointly appointed between Babson and Olin Colleges.)
• Joint academic degree and certificate programs. (Examples include the MS in Management degree with a concentration in Technology Entrepreneurship offered by Babson College for Olin students; the Certificate in Engineering Studies program offered by Olin College for students from Babson and Wellesley Colleges.)
• Jointly offered academic courses on two or more campuses. (Examples include Issues in Leadership & Ethics taught by the presidents of the three colleges for seniors from the three colleges; a course in product design involving both faculty and students from Babson, Olin, and Rhode Island School of Design a class in new technology ventures involving both faculty and students from Babson and Olin, etc.)
• Intercampus Curricular and Research Initiatives. (Examples include a new initiative on global sustainability launched by faculty at Babson, Olin and Wellesley Colleges; a new curricular initiative on "design for business" launched by faculty from Olin and Babson Colleges; etc.)
• Reciprocal library privileges.
• Open membership and participation in a variety of student activities and programs across all three campuses, at no cost. (Examples include drama ensembles involving students from thethree campuses; music and dance ensembles involving students from Babson and Olin; participation by Olin students in Babson's Blank Center programs as well as participation by Babson students in Olin's Foundry programs; programs offered for students on the three campuses by the Women's Leadership Center at Babson College and the Wellesley Centers for Women.)
• Intercampus services to foster cooperation. (Examples include the student shuttle service between the three campuses.)
Areas for Possible Future Expansion of Cooperation
These efforts provide a good foundation for us to build upon and expand to other areas of mutual benefit. We hope that we will move on initiatives that give our students more curricular choices, our faculty a chance to undertake joint research and curricular projects, our Centers to cooperate on conferences and programs, and our organizations to utilize economies of scale and scope on shared services such as landscaping and food services. For example, some future areas to explore together are:
• Expansion of academic program collaborations. (Examples include increasing the opportunities for students to cross register at neighboring campuses; increasing the number and breadth of integrated certificate, degree, and major concentration programs across institutions, i.e., Wellesley's education department offerings; support for joint student and faculty research, and student internships; jointly hosting national and international programs to teach faculty new pedagogies; etc.)
• Joint sponsorship of visitors, speakers, and conferences. (Examples include jointly hosted visits by visiting fellows from academia, business, and industry; jointly sponsored workshops, forums, and high-profile speaker series for academic, business, political and industry leaders; jointly sponsored co-curricular programming; etc.)
• Expansion of business and service collaborations. (Examples include using economies of scale in joint purchasing of supplies and services; initiation of joint intra and intercampus projects to enhance the sustainable practices of campuses and business operations; staff sharing; etc.)
• Joint outreach programs. (Examples include joint outreach to the regional and state community, especially to small business and non-profit organizations, experts, and advisors; joint outreach to the K-12 community, especially to teachers; joint admission recruitment efforts; etc.)
We recognize that further cooperative efforts can succeed only if there is a supportive infrastructure behind the efforts. Often things such as registration systems, transfer of credits, calendars, different operating procedures, rules, and regulations create impediments to greater cooperation. In these financially challenging times, it is particularly important we try to actively remove these impediments. Therefore, we hope that the faculty, staff and students of our three institutions will actively seek out opportunities to work together rather than separately.
Over the next several weeks, we will call together a joint forum of the three Colleges' administrative groups to identify opportunities for substantive advancement of this mutually beneficial agenda, beyond the work already underway by the group of our chief academic officers that have been meeting monthly during the past year.