university as creation of the future

I was reading a post by Stanley Katz on the impending closure of the University of Florida’s philosophy department and saw that he’d written another article called “The Pathbreaking, Fractionalized, Uncertain World of Knowledge.” This article begins by quoting A.N. Whitehead:

“The task of the university is the creation of the future, so far as rational thought, and civilized modes of appreciation, can affect the issue.”

This strikes me as an interesting take on the way the university finds its place in history. There are so many other ways of imagining the university’s historical trajectory: It’s the proud offspring of Western Europe, spreading around the globe to bring enlightenment. (This sounds like Whitehead, but is oriented towards transmitting a prior civilization rather than creating a new one.) Or it’s the ruin of an elitist institution, bereft of its mission of teaching reason or national culture, a degraded victim of neoliberal processes of corporatization, privatization, and auditing. Or it’s a cyborg composed of part medieval tradition, part incoherent consumerism, part mega-scientific research, a patchwork of past and present struggling to stay in motion.

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the temporary morgue at the university of chicago

I was stunned the other day to discover that my campus has plans for a temporary morgue in case of emergency. They read as follows:

The Hospital morgue has a limited capacity to store the deceased. If the Hospital is no longer able to accept the deceased they will contact the Chicago Department of Public Health to request refrigerated trailers. While waiting for the refrigerated trailer to be delivered, the following sites could be used as temporary morgues. The temporary morgues must be capable of being secured.

They are:

  1. Gross Anatomy (BSLC)
  2. First floor Henry Crown Field House
    • Batting practice room
    • Racket ball courts

The following supplies will be needed to store the deceased:

  • Body bags
  • Portable air conditioning units

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