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Here is Ira's challenge: "Can a mission statement be brief, amorphic and semantically mutable: i.e. 'We do research across all disciplines on the impact of interactive technology. (Come play with us!).'"  Also, he wants us to say what we've got that makes us distinctive.

What's distinctive about us?  We can cross disciplines more easily at Miami: "we've got interdisciplinarity." I wanted to transform "interdisciplinarity" or "interactivity / responsiveness / implicatedness among disciplines" from a noun into a verb: "Our Research Mission as transdisciplinary faculty is to explore the implications of our respective fields for each other's fields insofar as their disciplinary processes occur in interactive media."  It's still ugly, and that means something.  How about "Our research mission is to implicate our fields in each other's work through interactive media."  Oiy, what does that mean?

Ira's second challenge: "What if your field is interactive media?"  Ira's proposed revision: "IMS Research is a very, very, very dynamic, sloppy, collaborative, confusing, alogical, passionate, playful, exploratory, terribly exciting and (hopefully) insanely irreverent space. Come play with us."

One Comment

  1. I donno. I think I like the last one the best, but as the university becomes more and more interdisciplinary it becomes way more difficult to pin down a mission statement as something pithy, yet succinct, unless you want to be purposefully vague. “We do stuff”.

    Libraries, for example — prime examples of the expanding interdisciplinary sphere. One of the most deceptively difficult questions I get is “What do you do?”. Okay. I never know quite how to answer that. 30 years ago it would’ve been dead simple. 10 years ago it would’ve been less simple, but doable. Now, I just look like a goon and go “Uh, stuff” or else rattle off a laundry list of minutiae and risk boring the questioner.

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