Five College Consortium

Question 1: In your experience, what are some of the things that the Five College Consortium does really well?

  • Faculty Seminars (42)
  • Library Coordination (40):
    • Good delivery system (4);
    • Unified catalogue (4);
    • Student access (3)
  • Course Interchange (29):
    • online course guide (4);
    • "creates greater variety of courses" (4);
    • "It is getting easier to cross register" (1)
  • Lecture Fund (sponsorship of events/conferences/etc.) (18)
  • WFCR (15)
  • Joint Faculty Appointments (14):
    • Postdocs (3)
    • Joint programs (14)
    • Certificate programs (5);
    • Departments (2); (Programs particularly mentioned: African Studies, Crossroads in the Studies of the Americas, Women's Studies Research Center, Coastal and Marine Sciences, Advanced Drawing, Astronomy, Early Music, Logic, Film Studies (Council and Major), PAWSS, Museums 10, Architectural Studies, Five College/Public School Partnership, Center for the Study of World Languages)
    • Fosters collaboration across the campuses (12)
  • Bus service (10)
  • Faculty Exchanges (8):
    • cross campus thesis advisement (1)
    • Consortial grant proposal writing (8)
    • Chairs Meetings (5)
    • Team-taught courses (4)
  • Joint Information Technology ventures (3):
    • planning for blended/hybrid courses (2)
    • Student Symposia (3)
    • Promotes interdisciplinary curricula/scholarship (3)
    • Dissertation Fellowship (2)
    • Encourages innovation (2)
  • Publishing Days (2)
  • Student Meal Exchange (2)
  • Other:
    • "responsive to faculty requests";
    • "supports small fields underrepresented on individual campuses";
    • mail system;
    • events calendar;
    • MHEC purchasing;
    • lab access across the campuses;
    • Academic Career Network (support of faculty partners).


Question 2: In your experience, what are some of the things that the Five College Consortium does that it could do better?

  • Interchange (13):
    • break down departmental resistances (departments discourage students via advising and departmental requirements);
    • credit departments for FC enrollments (3);
    • improve registration procedures (develop online registration;
    • allow pre-registration;
    • hold seats for FC students, especially in majors/certificates;
    • mandate saving seats for FC students in all cases);
    • better coordinate class schedules;
    • course guide should list courses by departments by interdisciplinary programs and by certificate programs and link to faculty pages;
    • speedier access to online course materials;
    • promote to students more;
    • coordinate calendars
  • Library Coordination (12):
    • Provide remote access e-resources (12);
    • better consultation re: centralization of collection services;
    • sharing purchasing.
  • Transportation (11):
    • More frequent, smaller buses;
    • buses from point to point, arranged to support particular courses;
    • express buses SC-MHC;
    • coordinate bus and class schedules;
    • summer buses;
    • develop light rail system;
    • "acknowledge transportation is not the solution."
  • Curriculum coordination/planning (10):
    • reduce duplications and schedule conflicts;
    • more joint offerings (especially upper division sciences and in "at risk" departments);
    • more team teaching;
    • online streaming course materials;
    • coordinate leave replacements;
    • incentivize cooperation (better fund existing collaborations, provide seed money for grant proposals developing collaborative programs);
    • organize joint meetings by subfields and departments;
    • review grading/evaluation standards across the campuses;
    • insure credit equivalencies across the campuses (UM should convert to 4 credit standard);
    • more Five College Masters and Ph.D. graduate programs;
    • make better use of graduate students
  • Joint Appointments (9):
    • supplement budgets of sharing departments; provide better pre-tenure mentoring; two-way shares are problematic;
    • advertise tenure rate;
    • clarify procedures for hiring, promotion, tenure;
    • use to promote experimental/developing fields (2);
    • use to save money (2);
    • study post-tenure outcomes;
    • "needs of the home campus weigh too heavily."
  • Spousal hiring (and not just academic) (9)
  • Publicize events on each campus to each campus (improved events calendar, etc.) (9)
  • Publicize Five College opportunities better (5)
  • Restore calendar coordination (5)
  • Support scholarly/research collaborations (4)
    • Share equipment; shared field research center;
    • faculty seminars;
    • field research trips
  • Faculty Exchanges (3):
    • Borrow rate too low;
    • encourage more faculty participation;
    • discourage "freelancing" by Faculty members who fail to consult with department chairs.
  • Extracurricular activity for students (2)
  • Other:
    • resources for education certification;
    • smaller planning committees;
    • reduce bureaucratic drag;
    • Five College mail is unreliable and slow;
    • Five College Health Insurance;
    • annual student research symposium;
    • recruit students more collaboratively;
    • annually convene directors of Five College programs;
    • allow programs to present requests to Deans directly;
    • expand Associates program;
    • support twice annual department leadership planning meetings;
    • support on-line schedule planning;
    • ensure interchange enrollments count in faculty workload;
    • fund collaboration across the Arts (e.g. Five College opera)


Question 3: Based on your experience, what are some of the things that the Five College Consortium presently doesn't do that we might do effectively?


  • Support greater integration across departments and build/create more Five College departments (3);
  • support interdisciplinarity (deans should insure interdisciplinary programs have a voice in hiring;
  • deans should require/incentivize cooperation from departments );
  • organize meetings by departments and subfields;
  • create Five College webpages for all departments and programs, including social networking to support collaborative planning;
  • incentivize collaboration so it is not always an "add on";
  • provide more information about shared faculty specializations;
  • encourage greater collaboration to avoid redundancy;
  • too much curriculum sharing breaks-down differences among the campuses, which comprise their strength;
  • encourage development of more postbac programs;
  • encourage "blended course" development and other uses of teleconferencing (3);
  • insure that external reviews on campuses always include Five College issues;
  • build complementarity collaboratively and breakdown department/institutional territoriality;
  • support emerging fields by facilitating cooperation (not just threatened fields);
  • create a Five College Institute (thematic with short-term external and internal appointments);
  • support semester-long residencies;
  • promote collaborative development/delivery of curricula supporting diverse students, including returning veterans;
  • support interterm programming for students/faculty.


  • Credit enrollments to students' home campuses/departments (not just the hosting campus/department) (3);
  • establish a single registration system;
  • simplify registration process online;
  • regularly report interchange registration to chairs by department/course;
  • improve course guide (2);
  • list courses by departments and specifically inform department chairs;
  • encourage student participation;
  • synchronize class schedules (2);
  • house courses with large interchange appeal at a central location


  • "Think Big";
  • provide more express service;
  • target transportation to support particular courses;
  • transportation for community engagement (2);
  • summer buses (2);
  • rail service
  • Calendar synchronization (6)
  • Free parking across campuses (4)

Faculty Exchanges (4):

  • More support for collaborative courses/team teaching (2);
  • remove impediments to collaborative teaching;
  • suggest models for semester-long off-campus teaching (instead of busing students);
  • require regular circulation of faculty in some fields;
  • arrange for office swaps for sabbatical leaves;
  • need for "realistic funding" for overtime borrows;
  • compensate participation on thesis/dissertation committees (or at least provide free parking)

Joint Appointments (4)

  • Establish in large departments;
  • more information about how to apply;
  • more information about review procedures;
  • more shared postdocs;
  • incentivize sharing positions (current resource allocation favors departments that say no.")

Better Communication Deans-Chairs (3)

  • "Topdown will unmake community";
  • "college deans are making local cuts in the name of Five College cooperation";
  • "the call for concept papers was false encouragement";
  • "greater transparency re: the work and deliberations of the Deans."

Career Services collaboration (3)
Support for faculty spouses (3)

  • All position announcements should link to lists showing positions at all 5 campuses

Engage more with communities (3)

  • Transportation to support Community Based Learning;
  • staff position to coordinate with community partners for CBL and community service;
  • connect new faculty with communities;
  • Libraries: provide e-resource access across all campuses (3)

Research (3)

  • Fund Five College student-faculty interdisciplinary research collaborations (2);
  • fund cross-campus faculty research;
  • create a Five College Institute (thematic with short-term external and internal appointments);
  • Five College journal showcasing faculty research;
  • find external funding for faculty research, especially at the colleges;
  • fund student research off their own campuses (for materials, etc.);
  • support semester-long residencies;
  • establish Five College facility to house short and long-term residencies;
  • better connect exhibition spaces via exchanges/coordinated shows.

Events (2)

  • Centralize event planning (so fewer events but better);
  • develop master calendar to prevent scheduling conflicts;
  • use website to advertise campus events

Publicize Five College opportunities (2)
Improve Five College presence on campus websites
Group health insurance and/or group health insurance for adjunct faculty (2)

  • Emeriti program (with dedicated space, resources, etc); share recreational facilities;
  • "reallocate Five College resources from older, overstaffed programs to those currently attracting students";
  • support student recruitment for all five campuses;
  • improve opportunities for student networking across the campuses;
  • use video conferencing for Five College meetings;
  • study abroad (provide discounts to Five College students);
  • tuition exchange for children of employees;
  • annual meetings for faculty members in each field;
  • ensure faculty workload credit for service on dissertation committees.