Reshaping the University for the Metropolitan Area

  • David Potter George Mason University
  • Arthur Chickering George Mason University
Keywords: Metropolitan Universities, University Planning, Distributed University


A new pattern of urbanization, characterized by networks of urban villages, has implications for universities that serve metropolitan regions. This requires new institutional forms and practices. University planning should emphasize community interaction and collaboration to establish new programs and facilities and use a strategy of positioning to seize opportunities in fast-changing environments. The distributed university makes available the full complement of university services to all metropolitan locations. Educational practices and the curriculum should be altered to cultivate a broader range of human capabilities and to accommodate more diverse students. Changes in faculty workloads and reward systems, and modifications in their ways of thinking and acting will be needed.