Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lack of Vision

Participated a full day retreat as a faculty member.  People are working hard, their hearts are in the right place: educate the students.  But it hurts me to know their vision of the program is so petty - to conform to the external common standards.  I always promote the ideas that we should the best or the first.  If our ultimate goal is the conform to a common standard, we are just a factory.  Might be shiny, efficient factory that produce a lot of coders. But a factory still.

The lack of big passion and courage and innovation saddened me.  Especially I pick and mentored most of them over the years.  What is the difference between a our university and a truck driver training school?  It hurts me to just thinkimg about this.

The new building is done, young faculty are ready to take over the wheel.  If the vision is no longer grand, exciting and courageous, maybe I should take a back seat now.



epilogue (my email to SCD college March 2016

It is indeed a paradox - we all believe better skills should lead to better jobs yet as a country, better skills workforce does not always lead to better economy.
Why?
I submit to you, my dear colleagues, the skills we can measure are the skills of today.  What we should prepare our students are the skills of tomorrow.  But, you said, what are those?  Well, we don't know.  But we know the US is built first on dreams and innovations, second on knowledge and skills.
Are we instilling inspiration and innovation in our students?
Or we are so focused on drilling them on job skills which might result in they going to a first world university but getting a third world education experience?

Are our students completing the degree with excitement of changing the world?
Or they will be very satisfied with a just-above-average paycheck?
How do we balance, what I often lamented, between "timely training for today and timeliness education for the future"

Well, we all have a Doctor of Philosophy, let's find out.  I am not sure we will reach a conclusion, but the process is so much fun.
Eric
on a windy Sat morning



Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...