Friday, April 13, 2007

Valuing Honesty
OurLeader’s State of the University Address

From an Editorial in the Minnesota Daily today:

April 13, 2007

Valuing Honesty in State of the U

The University address should be honest and open and should address problems we face.

Last week, University President Bob Bruininks gave his State of the University address at Coffman Union.

He began his speech by speaking of the challenges of the 21st century and the University's three-fold mission that is inscribed on Northrop Auditorium.

Many such addresses ignore problems and issues, and sway toward optimistic outlooks and inspiring words alone. However, it can often be more valuable for the speaker to remain honest and address problems the institution or organization is facing head-on, especially in regards to solutions to these problems.

In his speech, Bruininks did this a few times.

The rest of the time, he focused on the University's plan to become one of the top three public research universities in the world, on how the incoming 2010 class is the best-prepared in history, on University partnerships, on the coordinate campuses and how well they're doing, on the University's academic goals and on our "exceptional faculty and staff," to name a few topics.

The value of an address such as this is apparent. It's meant to be informational and uplifting, but we do believe that University community members receive the most value from openness and honesty, especially when tackling tough subjects such as the problems the University is facing.

Mr. Bonzo has earlier addressed some of these tough subjects. Previous relevant posts include: Speaking of Rankings and
OurLeader Gives 2007 State of the University Address, Ambitious Aspirations to Greatness or Can BigU become GreatBigU?

Further relevant rants include: It's the Ick Factor and Photoshop Manipulation of Scientific Illustrations and One Can Only Marvel.

Perhaps OurLeader can speak to some of these issue in next year's State of the University of Minnesota address?



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