Chronicle.com: What made you decide to leave your post as a professor and dean at MIT to start your own university?

Christine Ortiz: I’ve been at MIT for 17 years, and it’s been amazing. And I’ve always been interested in curriculum and thinking about the future of the research university, and I did a lot of archival research on it. And I found in my research that many of the structures were really taken from hundreds of years ago. I think we’re at a time where we can think about the future, and moving forward how to reshape it.

MIT Dean Takes Leave to Start New University Without Lectures or Classrooms – The Chronicle of Higher Education

I’m curious for details about the new non-profit initiative that Ms. Ortiz (presumed Dr. Ortiz, PhD) is undertaking. The interview reveals that it is still in the very early stages. It feels more like “reboot” than “disruption” by the word choices. The curriculum seems to be: Project orientation with YouTube videos in short chunks for new-knowledge transmission in large integrated laboratory/workshop settings. What kind of learning does this afford? This is a very Media Lab model.


February 2, 2016