/ Office of Possibilities

Origins of the Office

On September 21, 2020, President Matt Scogin announced the Office of Possibilities in an email to the campus community:

FROM: President Matt Scogin
TO: Hope College Campus Community
SUBJECT: Looking to the Future

To help institutionalize creative thinking broadly around “the future of learning,” we will begin planning for a new innovation lab at Hope – an internal think-tank that we are tentatively calling the Office of Possibilities and Applied Innovation.

The vision is to have a safe and inviting space for big and bold thinking. This will be a place for us to explore what could be and test ideas together, especially ideas that may seem crazy or wild at first, so that we can actively shape what the future looks like both for learners as well as our academic and campus environment.

For example, we have learned much during our COVID-driven pivot to new modes of teaching and learning. How does this inform the potential for expanded infusion of digital experiences into our curriculum, while also continuing to invest in a high-touch liberal art educational experience? Might our gained expertise in online learning allow us to provide a more distinct, customized learning experience, or perhaps allow us to imagine novel educational pathways at Hope College?

Once fully operationalized, I envision this office staffed by a small team. Some might be rotating positions while others could be more permanent. Furthermore, I imagine opportunities for this office to engage the entire campus – inviting participants in for specific projects or idea generation.

The office will report directly to me and will be funded from outside the general operating budget by donor-supported funds. I have asked Dave Van Wylen to work with the development team on raising funds for this office and lead our initial efforts to get this up and running. His deep academic experience as well as his leadership as a dean will provide a great “face” for this ambition as we seek donor support. Beginning in early October, Dave Van Wylen will start transitioning out of his role as Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences. Our goal is to have the office fully established and funded within the next six months.

Spera in Deo!