Harford Community College recently held what college officials deemed a successful Future Summit.
Time will tell how successful, but our skepticism about such initiatives comes with the benefit of the clichéd 20/20 hindsight, but it isn’t the first time a public agency, institution or organization has looked into the future.
When the year 2000 was rapidly approaching, there were plenty such plans and studies done in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Once such effort led to the Futures Commission report from a group put together by then-Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann. Another more recent example is the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Vision 2020, like the whole Upper Chesapeake Health system, has its origin in Havre de Grace.
The best function of both studies, as well as countless others like them, is as dust collectors.
That’s not to say HCC is wasting its time looking into the future, it’s not. Harford Community College, as a bricks and mortar institution, faces tremendous challenges, as does every other bricks and mortar operation, in the today’s digital world.
While HCC officials may not get answers to the complex questions the college faces going forward, they have to start somewhere. A Future Summit is as good a place as any to start.