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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

Daily Journal Praises University of Mississippi Colleges

— Following up this week’s widely-published report about the collegiate plans at the University of Mississippi, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes today in praise of Ole Miss and its residential college proposals, and against the “huge, impersonal, noisy and crowded boxes called dormitories” that are found on all too many campuses.

Editorial: Colleges in community

Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi both have decided that what’s really quite old in university student housing is also new and better: residential colleges.

Mississippi State has opened its version in a new cluster called the “northeast complex.” It has residences with lots of amenities, privacy, high technology, and classrooms.

Now, after years of discussions, Ole Miss is moving ahead to design and build a residential college complex housing students, faculty members, classrooms, technology and dining in a prime location: the intersection of West Jackson Avenue and Sorority Row.

The idea is new for State and Ole Miss. It’s been around for hundreds of years in the universities of Europe and Great Britain, and in some forms in many other American colleges and universities. The University of Oxford, for example, has 39 residential colleges and self-contained private halls.

The goal, simply stated, is creating a closely knit community that is collegial, social and academic.

Ole Miss aims for three “residential colleges” with some professors living and teaching in the complex.

The idea probably seems radically different to previous generations of students at Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Both campuses relied for decades on huge, impersonal, noisy and crowded boxes called dormitories—more a place to sleep than to become a community.

We believe the idea is full of promise and potential generally because it treats college students more as young adults—and potentially demands more of them academically and behaviorally—than merely extending their adolescence.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2016