If someone had asked me 20 years ago about a university’s bandwidth, I would have thought they were asking about the size of our marching band. Today, this question has a far different meaning, relating to the width of a range of frequencies or to the rate of data transfer. Internet connectivity and speed are big issues on college campuses.
Increasing a university’s bandwidth requires significant resources. Students enter college today with an average of seven electronic devices (after the holidays it may be as many as 10), each requiring a certain amount of capacity to receive and send data. Consequently, we are regularly changing and upgrading our infrastructure to improve the user’s experience. We are committed to “delivering the gold” with technology and we are making great progress in an ever-changing and increasingly demanding environment.
It is amazing how our vocabulary expands to embrace new terminology as our environment expands to embrace new technology. “Increasing your bandwidth” may also refer to the resources required to respond to a need. In other words, a university’s capacity to meet the needs of students. I guess in dealing with technology, it would be a university’s bandwidth to meet its bandwidth! Again, MU has expanded programs and facilities to maximize student potential. After all, that’s the definition of a university that will never go out of style.
Now I want to go back to my original definition. I am increasingly asked about the MU Marching Monarchs, our marching band, which is gaining recognition for their talent and gaining in size, or “band width.” Most recently, I was proud of these students as they represented Methodist in the Veterans Day Parade in Fayetteville. So, whether it’s our ability to transfer data or musical performance, we are about maximizing the capacity of our students to benefit from a Methodist University experience. And thanks to our donors and as a strategic priority of the University, we are assigning more resources to expand our band width.
It may be apparent to the reader that when it pertains to the modern definition of bandwidth this President is out of his comfort zone. However, you can rest assured that I understand the investment required to meet our students’ needs, technology and otherwise, and to continue to build an exceptional marching band. Bottom line, the best universities are about increasing students’ bandwidths, thus enabling them to get the most out of their experience. And no university does this better than Methodist.
What’s your bandwidth? I challenge our students and each of us to expand our definition with the times and in doing so, broaden our horizons. That’s the fundamental mission of our University.