What is “ba”? I am not a Japanese-speaker; I’m not deeply acquainted with Japanese culture. But in reading about ba and “learning organizations” and knowledge creation, it’s been very easy for me to discern seeds of ba at Grand Valley. In the effort underway for several years now to allow each discipline to define its own benchmarks and best practices, to develop its own specific guidelines for progress toward tenure and promotion, I see elements of ba. In support systems such as the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center and its programs, I perceive ba. And most significantly, in the effort to establish a common basic teaching load, and to negotiate annually with each individual faculty member how he or she will focus for the year ahead on professional excellence, professional scholarship and achievement, and professional service, I see great potential for ba. But I’m getting ahead of myself …

Originally published in Grand Valley Review, Volume XXXIV, Fall 2008


Knowledge Creation, Learning Organization, Scholarship, Faculty Status, Academic Librarians, ba


Library and Information Science