Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What OurCEO and OurProvost Should Be Saying at the U of M...

"When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." I Cor. xiii. 11.
From the Daily:

Academic Leader Urges Congress to Invest in Higher Education

The stimulus bill is not going to be enough to fix all higher education woes, wrote Gary Rhoades, general secretary of the American Association of University Professor, in an open letter to Congress and the president Wednesday.

According to Rhoades, higher education is in needs of a complete overhaul and the governments continued investment.

"Mr. President, and members of Congress, you have the choice to either touch the future or to torch it, to open the door of opportunity or to slam it shut, to lay a solid foundation or to leave us with little basis for future growth," he wrote. "I hope you choose the path that has led to this nation's greatness, a path not of cutting, but of building, a path not of saying 'No, we can't,' but of saying 'Yes, we can.'"

He also urged the nations universities to stop trying to "move up" in rankings and to start seeking how they can better engage and serve students and communities.

"I think we need a moratorium on "US News & World Report" rankings," he wrote. "We need to set aside these childish things. We need to focus more on what matters most. The ranking race drives institutions to spend money on various areas other than instruction and intellectual capital, to attract students."

The University of Minnesota is on a quest to become a top three research university.
It is time to re-order our priorities, President Bruininks and Provost Sullivan. You would be in a better position to argue for state support if you did this. Continuing to whine about "ambitious aspirations to become one of the top three public research institutions in the world" is not going to do it.

This is not a new theme for me as OurCEO knows. For a reminder, please see the post:

which originally appeared on January 16, 2007. I think it stands the test of time.

The clock is ticking. Are we halfway toward being one of the top three public research universities in the world?

Is it time, yet,
to put aside these childish things?

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