LU moves toward virtual campus

Hugh Jass

The administration of Lawrence University will soon announce the next step in their plans to move all operations of the university to an online format, completely converting Lawrence into an online university.
“The new online course evaluations were just the beginning,” said Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows. “Moodle is another great development, allowing students to submit homework assignments online, and we want to continue this trend of making life easier for everyone.”
When asked about the future of the move, Burrows responded that submitting finals through Voyager would be the next step, and that “online courses are going to be our ultimate goal, as well as online campus activities taking place in chat rooms. Events, clubs, frats and sororities, everything.”
Burrows hopes the “campus culture” will remain intact, and plans to shut down the network language and content filters and monitoring systems each weekend “so Co-op can still throw their kick-ass parties.”
The new change will relieve many Lawrence staff of the financial burdens that have plagued the university since its founding, such as finding housing for an expanding student population and paying to heat the buildings.
Waiting for half the campus to file a work order requesting heat before turning it on was not the money-saving plan many of those at Physical Plant hoped it would be.
As a final step in becoming an online university, Beck announced that beginning in 2008, students would no longer be living on campus.
The administration plans to rent out most of the dorms as apartments, while Brokaw will serve as a halfway house for recently released sexual offenders.
Lawrence will become “a fine-tuned money-making machine,” declared Sara Beth Holman, Director of Financial Aid. “I can finally start saving money instead of just giving it away all willy-nilly like before.”
This plan would also save the university a large sum on the highly anticipated campus center, as it will no longer be necessary. After hearing this announcement, Steve Armstrong, Lawrence’s Systems and Network Manager, held a small celebration in his office.
“We’re going to get a friggin’ sweet server instead of just another place students will bitch about not having wireless. Maybe we’ll finally be able to work on our hacking skills instead of spending 75 percent of our time un-jamming printers.”
Professor of Psychology Terry Gottfried hailed the change as ahead of its time.
“For years, psychologists have developed models of cognition based on computer functioning,” says Gottfried. “It’s only natural then, that all of our processes should eventually be handled online with computers, and cognitive psychologists will be the leaders of this brave new world – just watch.”
Associate Professor of Psychology Beth Haines agreed with this statement.
Since children are learning to use computers at much younger ages, “having a computer-based college education may ease the transition from high school video games to college and higher education,” Haines speculates.
“Especially if students don’t have to move – literally. One day they’ll just switch from Doom to Plato.”
Tuition will remain where it is, so that students can be guaranteed the same level of personal contact and continue to receive hands-on instruction, just simply via e-mail and AIM.
Burrows summed up the issue by saying, “We don’t foresee any problems with the upcoming changes.”
President Beck, however, raised the concern that “some of the professors who have been with us a while” may have trouble dealing with the technological wonder of the Voyager system.
In response to this allegation, Professor of Russian Richard Yatzeck gave a dismissive “Psh” and finished his cigarette. English professor Bert Goldgar gave a simple shake of his head, muttered, “Incompetent bastards,” and dismissed the female interviewer with a pat on the ass.
This reporter, for one, will miss her hands-on education.

Top