Six months after the university revealed plans for a university-wide honors program to replace the University Professors Program, administrators have provided few details about the initiative, including what it will be called.
Boston University will not set a start date or an official name for New College, as it is called for now, until 2010 or 2011, New College Planning Committee Chairman Charles Dellheim said.
‘The most important thing right now is to engage the BU faculty and all of the colleges, especially the undergraduate colleges, but also the graduate colleges like the School of Medicine, in discussion about the proposed curriculum of the college,’ he said.
The New College committee has put forth a series of ideas and is waiting faculty input, Dellheim, who is also the BU history department chairman, said.
The committee is focusing on the curriculum right now, and next year, BU will incorporate some freshmen seminars that may or may not fall under New College when it begins operation.
‘The idea of piloting some courses next year is to help involve the faculty, flushing out ideas for curriculum and seeing what’s most interesting and effective,’ he said.
Committee member Andrew Cohen said the New College will attract more academically driven students to BU.
‘I think the idea was to try to do something that would distinguish a program here at BU from other programs at other institutions and attract students with specific interest on research convention and the creation of knowledge,’ Cohen, a physics professor, said.
Committee member Hans Kornberg said New College will provide students with something that goes beyond the normal academic routine of other colleges.
Kornberg is also the director of UNI, which will stop operating after its last incoming class graduates in 2011.
‘People have said to me, ‘Well, do you feel rather like the captain of the Titanic?’ he said. ‘I feel rather as if I’m the captain of a ship, which realized that it could no longer go to the harbor for which it was originally intended. It is now going to shift into a different direction.’
Kornberg said that though he regrets the end of UNI, he welcomes New College.
‘I hope that the New College will convey what is best in UNI, the small classes, the intimate association of professors with students, the mentoring,’ he said. ‘I hope that this will continue. I hope it will be a success.’