Delivers Fall Convocation Address
his inaugural fall convocation address, NMU President Les
the university will begin deliberate discussions on how it can position
itself to offer a “Curriculum for the 21 st Century.”
said some campuses have been forced into similar discussions through
budgetary distress, enrollment decline, or a desire to re-brand
themselves in a new market.
our enrollment, relative budgetary stability and, more importantly,
the human talent and potential in place suggest we can embark on
this discussion from a position of strength,” Wong said. “One condition
of these discussions is that we will refrain from decision making
to the best of our ability. The purpose is to explore and examine
what kind of curriculum will offer us the ‘superior edge.’”
said the university must also explore and examine how each area
of campus – not just academics – may play a role in the creation
of the curriculum. He cited several examples, including the following:
does NMU incorporate important initiatives like service learning,
international education and other active learning modes without
adding to the credit demands of the major?
can the university bear fruit with a ramped-up international education
program if it fails to reach out to Native America and underserved
adults who are its neighbors?
what ways can NMU provide incentives to develop curriculum products
and their delivery that exploit the technical environment and do
not necessarily mean only online or distance education?
NMU be the first to fully integrate academics and student support
into on-campus residential opportunities to create a living-learning
community and, if so, how might this impact the architectural design
for planned residence hall renovations?
Northern’s academic majors designed to meet the learning demands
of its students in the worlds they choose to live and do they support
the goals of the discipline?
find me to be a person who is reflective, thoughtful, respectful
and inquisitive,” Wong said. “I admit, my thinking can even be edgy.
After all, we want to be out of the box. Maybe that will be the
lasting legacy of our work together: creative, well thought out,
edgy and effective teaching and learning in the 21 st century. …
I am not comfortable with the notion of president-centric organizations,
though I endorse the idea that an effective president is at the
center of the consensus-building process – a process that respects
and honors shared governance, shared responsibility and academic
credited his predecessors of the recent past and the “hard working,
high quality” faculty and staff for promoting student success and
making NMU a healthy, vibrant institution.
is a spirit here which is uniquely NMU and one which we should not
take for granted,” he added. “I am intrigued by it and hope to learn
and enjoy more of it as the year progresses.”
full address can be viewed at Convocation.