John Warfield Exhibit

A Return to the Classroom

After many years at Battelle, Warfield decided to return to a full time academic position. Battelle was under scrutiny from a lawsuit, and he feared for his job. Warfield had often been frustrated by the political maneuvering and gamesmanship he perceived in the academic world. He later wrote that he "decided, with regrets, to return to a university setting."  In 1974, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Shown here is a hand drawn examination for a high level Electrical Engineering class taught by Warfield in the Fall of 1975. From 1975-1979, he served as the chair of the department. He also served as the Harry Douglas Forsyth Professor of Electrical Engineering from 1975-1983, and is to this day one of only three professors to hold that position.

Coursework to Match a New Career

While serving as the Chair of the Department of Engineering, Warfield continued to pursue his new ideas on the design of systems. One area that reflected this new direction was the advanced coursework he taught at the University. At right is the syllabus for a high level course entitled Social Systems Design. Warfield informed his students that much of the material to be covered was not contained in any textbooks, and that they were expected to "take considerable initiative in outside reading."

A New Academic Venture

By 1979, Warfield had forged down a path of no return. He resigned as the Chair of Electrical Engineering at the University of Virginia, and considered other ways to advance his ideas on Systems Science. He served as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa from 1980-1981. He considered a return to Battelle, which was thriving after shrugging off their legal issues of the mid-1970's. Ultimately, he found the answer to his issues without having to leave the University of Virginia. In 1981, a former colleage from his Battelle days, Dr. Alexander (Aleco) Christakis, from the Academy of Contemporary Problems, joined Warfield at Virginia. They worked to roll out a new concept: Interactive Management. The brief document here announced a new Center for Interactive Planning and Design, to begin work in the Fall of 1981.

Brochure for the Center of Interactive Management

By the fall of 1981, the new Center at the University of Virginia was off the ground. The name of the Center had been changed from its earlier iteration, and was now called the Center for Interactive Management. This new approach to problem solving incorporated Warfield's ISM methodology, along with other ideas in the field of systems design. This short 1981 brochure explains the concept of Interactive Management to prospective clients.

Planning for an Unrealized Future

The CIM had early successes, and Warfield began planning for the future. This 1982 report identifies performance goals, and measures of success. It cites the government of Saudi Arabia as a client, as well as IBM and numerous other high profile government agencies. Despite the success of the CIM, it was shut down by the University in 1983. Warfield later remarked that it "fell victim to high-level institutional disagreements."