I attended three meetings this afternoon. They are all very rewarding and entertaining, but definitely not easy. Meeting different group of people gives me a better idea of the whole state of my beloved Hampshire College.
We are facing many crisis, and financial issues are on the top of my list. Finance has become a bottle neck of Hampshire: we start to enlarge our classes from 15 students to 25. We stop hiring new faculties. We start to let in less qualified students because their parents pay. The lack of financial capacity is really changing the way people think. All departments are striving for survival. This really destroys the atmosphere in a sense.
There are other soft dangers: lack of participation and attention. Prof. Stan Warner said on the meeting that this is not the first time Hampshire faces huge crisis, but this time, we don't seem to have the right spirit. From what I can see, the administration is not making things any better. This judgment is not based on comparison to other places, since the Hampshire is the only place I've been. Still, I can see why faculties and students are frustrated with the administration, and these things are not really difficult to fix if the key people has the proper attitude. And there is a lack of engagement on the side of students. I'm really surprised that so few people care about the place where they live and breathe. If people don't care, then I think they don't get to complain.
I don't know enough to make a final statement, but I already know enough that I will start to make changes. I receive full financial aid from Hampshire, and I love this place so much. I feel not only obliged but also passionate to build the college into what it should be like. And I have great platforms to work on and awesome people to work with. I am very hopeful about this lovely place, the very unique paradise for a bunch of crazy human beings.