Thursday, April 16, 2015

Universities: Eat your own dog food

Eating your own dog food is the idea that you use what you sell.  In universities we claim to have the best faculty training the next generation of students.  We also claim we want to give out students more real life collaborative work projects.

So why is it that the universities with the top business schools bring in outside consultants for their own administrative processes? The best marketing schools bringing marketing firms?  Engineering schools bringing in design firms?

Give major tasks to your faculty with student teams to mentor. Have a competition between teams.  Think of the signal this would send to the public, the trust we place in our product, the pride the students would gain that they literally built their institution.  I think this would be good for keeping alumni connected over time if they came to campus and saw the building they helped design the network for, or the art on campus.

It takes faith, and there are reasons one wouldn't want to do this, but I think a strong look at maybe doing internal grants to faculty who are the best at what they do, and students, who can get real experience and connection to their school.

Examples at Michigan, some have student and faculty involvement, some could be better:
  • Art on campus  (Art and Design)
  • Buildings (Architechture)
  • Campus layout and planing (Urban Planning)
  • Green energy initiatives (Architecture and Engineering)
  • Data center design (Architecture and Engineering)
  • WiFi network build out (Engineering)
  • Marketing and Development (Business and Video/Performing Arts)
  • Administrative Processes (Business)
  • Contracts and tech transfer (Engineering and Law)
  • Wellness programs (Medical, Nursing, and Public Health)

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