Alan Lazarus <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Identify the values you would like embedded in the new residential system. For each value, identify 2-3 indicators which would tell us we are "walking the talk."
First of all, I think that there should be some separation between living groups and the formal academic side of MIT. By that I mean that the living groups provide an opportunity to live with contemporaries just as a home has parents and children and they don't mix on all occasions--but there is still a sense of family. The latter is central to what I think should be the value that is missing now.
Students and faculty and staff should be joined together in an enterprise that has apprentice aspects (as in UROP) and collegial aspects (as in jointly working together to learn something). Those aren't really fully separate, but it needs more discussion.
How can the living groups enhance that idea? I have only sketchy ideas. One might be having recitations/seminars in the living group. But that will achieve the goals only if the staff/faculty person (and his/her family) are partially in the living situation. For example, eating together before/after the activity and having some chance to talk together. The faculty/staff person doesn't have to live in the living group, but he/she should be an interesting guest.
Does the tutorial model (Oxford Cambridge, Harvard ) fit that image? I don't know--we should explore the realitities of the Harvard model.
Sure, they should work together to create a model. Reward? Real awareness of the undergraduate experience and the consequent richness of knowing the students. Also a free meal from time to time. If someone needs a monetary reward for such an activity, I feel strongly that he/she should not be at a university.
By the way, I'd would want to include a graduate student in such an arrangment. That would provide an easier access to an undergraduate--somewhat as we do now with tutors in the physics department.