Editorial, Opinion

STAFF EDIT: Honor the New College

In 2007, President Robert Brown announced that he was planning to phase out the University Professors Program – Boston University’s program for gifted students.
While UNI had its problems – mostly in a lack of publicity – it is vital that BU has an honors program. We hope the New College, which is still in its planning stages, not only replaces UNI but becomes the strong academic beacon that BU deserves.
With a successful honors program, BU will be more competitive against other colleges in Boston. The New College must feature small classes – no more than 15 students – taught by the most qualified professors, not adjuncts. And those professors must be caring advisers to students in addition to being qualified teachers.
The students in the new program will benefit from working closely with a faculty member who is familiar with their work. Students who are in this program will be writing theses and creating projects that BU should be able show off as the quality of work that its students are capable of producing. A good adviser will help the already-talented students create even stronger final products.’ ‘
There is no doubt that if BU sets up the New College properly, it can expect to enroll some of the brightest high school applicants in the country.
But in order to attract the best students, administrators must promote the New College that it is in the works. It is fine that the planning team withholds some details about the program’s functioning while it is still fine tuning things, but opaqueness will not improve BU’s reputation amongst prospective students.
High school seniors are already beginning to apply to college. As each additional New College development comes about, the planning team must do all it can to promote the school.
That doesn’t mean that the New College should be rushed, however. UNI is still in place until 2011, giving the developers two years to get the honors program right.
And if BU gets the New College right, it should be able to attract the right students that can propel the school and its reputation forward.

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One Comment

  1. Some of the best professors I’ve had were adjuncts in COM. Just saying.