(Image: Schwarzman construction, from https://schwarzman.yale.edu/)
LC: I think in these opening assembly speeches that I watched, you always used something along the phrase of “My job is partially to maintain Yale as the research institution most dedicated to teaching and learning.”
MC: Right, that’s President Salovey’s quote.
LC: That sounds like a noble goal. I am wondering, in addition, what your vision is for Yale and what people have to look forward to in the next 5-10 years, what my girlfriend’s little brother might have to look forward to.
MC: Well I think, yes that phrase covers everything, but basically we need to maintain our leadership and excellence as a liberal arts institution. We need to offer a great education in all areas of study, not just one, so humanities, arts, social sciences, and STEM. Obviously we have a big push for STEM right now because that’s the area where we feel we can make the most improvements relative to the other strong areas that we have on campus. So that’s something to look forward to. We’re always strong in STEM, but we’re going to be even stronger in STEM areas over the next five to ten years, and that’s of course a publicly-stated goal.
There’s also just a lot of very exciting construction going on around campus–the Schwarzman Center, Tsai CITY, the new Yale Science Building is up. The Schwarzman Center is really going to be transformative–it’s hard to imagine how wonderful that is going to be. It’s going to be game changing. Our campus is already very lively, and it’s going to anchor the energy we have on campus with a focus on student activities and the arts and community. It’s a student center and performance center, so there’s going to be a lot of professional-grade and student-driven programming that’s going to be open to the public. It’s going to have a lot of retail dining options open to grad students and again to our neighbors. Students will have a way to swipe in with points, but it will be open to the community, so there’s going to be a real student center like there is at most other schools. Yale has been lacking that, we’re all sort of islands in the colleges, but this is a real center for everybody. And it’s just going to be a great hang out space for students. There are lots of great spaces that are going to be open to students until late hours. And you’re going to get it in your senior year.
The new humanities building, you probably heard about the humanities quadrangle–this is construction happening on York between Morse and Mory’s. It’s going to be a huge building, 70 percent of our humanities faculty are going to move there this Fall and that’s going to create a real community center for humanistic inquiry, scholarship, and learning. There’s almost nothing like it elsewhere in the country, and again it’s just going to really cement Yale’s leadership in the humanities and the arts. I think there’s actually no time more exciting for Yale than the next five years, and I’m just really grateful to be a small part of it.