by Joann Richards
In a bold move, Binelli College in Wisconsin has taken their sustainability initiatives to another level by moving toward a speechless lecture format.
Artie Finkleman, president of Binelli College, is proud of this new direction, stating, “After hearing a story on National Public Radio about bookless libraries at Stanford University, our board of trustees insisted that we find ways to do more with less. We’ve taken that a step further and have adopted the sustainability platform of ‘Less is More.’ In an attempt to eliminate waste, we feel that this trend-setting approach to course delivery will help achieve our goal of a negative carbon-footprint.”
These initiatives are paying off. Xenobia Walters, Director of Plant Services, states, “It’s amazing the changes we’ve seen in our utility consumption. The reduction in hot air generated by faculty alone is projected to cut our cooling and power bills by two-thirds.”
Initially, the Binelli Student Government had concerns about this new approach to learning. However, after the student pass rate from the pilot study skyrocketed to 97%, BSG overwhelmingly passed a resolution in support of the program and encouraged the administration to pursue other similar approaches. Since the resolution, Binelli has instituted a weight-less fitness center, and desk-free classrooms. Additional consideration is being given to creating foodless dining halls in an attempt to advance the wellness initiatives of the campus.
Stacy Dunkleman, provost and vice president for academic affairs, discussed the academic validity of the new approach. “There is research support for this new program. The U.S. Military conducted extensive training and testing of paranormal military programs and psychological techniques for use as interrogation techniques. Utilizing this skill for something other than staring at goats may prove beneficial for knowledge transmission and assessment of student learning outcomes.”
This new program also has paid off for recruitment. Brisben Alexander, a student starting at Binelli this fall, is excited about the new approach. “I’m hoping this will be just like the legilimency skill I read about in Harry Potter. Being able to connect with my professor’s mind – imagine how prepared I’ll be for those exams. This is gonna be GREAT!”
In a related story, Binelli College is up for reaccreditation in twelve months.