when I consider Cathy concerns, I think we still can move forward with
the survey --- as long as we are clear that we are gathering
perspectives about liberal arts programs and interests, independent of
what issues might arise elsewhere.

There is no need to claim that everything about liberal arts is unique,
although some elements are.  If this committee is to be, among other
things, a support and networking group for faculty at liberal arts
colleges, then the committee should feel free to discuss any topics that
liberal arts CS faculty may need to address.  If insights from
non-liberal-arts colleges are helpful (e.g., regarding introductory
programming languages), then the committee can discuss them.  It may be
that general insights need to be refined within a liberal arts context
--- but that should not prevent the group from discussing them.

Overall, Cathy's comments remind me that we need to be careful NOT to
claim that everything about liberal arts colleges is disjoint from
everything about other types of schools.  Let's focus on topics that are
meaningful to liberal arts faculty.  Not all of these topics may be
unique to our types of schools, but our sharing can help us --- liberal
arts faculty --- in all dimensions of our work.  If other types of
schools have similar issues, perhaps they can learn from us and we from



Henry M. Walker
Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor
    of Natural Science and Mathematics
Professor of Computer Science
Noyce Science Center
1116 8th Avenue
Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA  50112-1690
United States of America
+1 641-269-4208
Fax:  +1 641-269-4984


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