Wednesday, April 23, 2003

"Academic Distinction Priority Strategic Goal" 

You wonder sometimes if they use a random word generator. This is what they call the academic part of our strategic plan. So what is the goal?
I. St. Cloud State University will strive to provide a quality educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students.

A. The University will strive for excellence by providing a rich and diverse curriculum. Classes and programs will integrate diverse perspectives.

Rationale: Curriculum should provide both depth and breadth. Students must be able to understand issues in enough depth to argue a reasonable position and to address problems in their lives (workplace, family, community). Diversity of perspectives is one of SCSU's key values. We value breadth of education at the undergraduate level balanced by depth of knowledge in majors and minors.

Diversity of perspectives. Not diversity of thought. Diversity of thought is code for the other kind of diversity, which at least the goals are honest enough to admit.
H. Through recruitment and retention, the University will actively increase the numbers of students reflecting demographic diversity (domestic and global).
Research is mentioned only in item E., and even then no discussion of creating knowledge within our own disciplines by faculty alone is valued. Just as well; if they can't even get a name like "Academic Strategic Goal" right without putting in useless qualifiers -- what are "non-priority goals?" when is "non-distinction" a goal? -- it's unlikely they can write serious research either.