One of the aspects of my new position as President that I have enjoyed most is the opportunity to learn more about Lafayette’s academic program. Meeting individually with each academic department, I have been deeply impressed by the commitment I see among faculty in all fields to maintaining standards of excellence while also being open to new ideas, trends, and directions.
One of the three Presidential Task Forces appointed this year is looking at Curricular Innovation and Technology, focusing primarily on pedagogy, in order to ensure that our methods of teaching keep pace with changing patterns of learning among today’s students. We all recognize that technology has had a tremendous effect on students’ relationships to information, to the learning process, and to each other.
Lafayette has found that a well-designed library is more popular than ever. Students today seek out a study environment that balances opportunity for quiet reflection with spaces that promote group work, collaboration, and even socializing.
A few years ago, college facilities planners were predicting an inevitable death of libraries, as students are now able to access many materials online from the comfort of their rooms. In fact, Lafayette has found that a well-designed library is more popular than ever. Students today seek out a study environment that balances opportunity for quiet reflection with spaces that promote group work, collaboration, and even socializing. Faculty, too, rely on the library for higher levels of support in utilizing the technological resources now available. In a feature that celebrates Skillman Library’s 50th anniversary, the voices of students past and present express the intense meaning and importance that the library and its staff of librarians, who are also teachers, hold for them.
Alumni and friends of the College, as well as scholars of higher education, will benefit directly from a new digital archive that will provide access to the history of Lafayette encompassed in more than 80 years of Lafayette Magazine. This project was made possible by generous funding from former Lafayette president Arthur Rothkopf ’55 and his wife, Barbara, to the Friends of Skillman Library. As someone who has enjoyed learning about Lafayette’s rich history and traditions over the last year, I know that many members of the community will have a wonderful time exploring this new resource when it becomes available later this spring.