Features & Perspectives

Lakeland is a learning organization. First, students come here to learn. Those of you graduating this week who have studied here for four years have gained knowledge in at least 40 separate classes, each of which is designed to provided 45 hours in class and require 90 hours of research and study outside of class. That adds up to 5,400 hours of knowledge pursuit across 40 classes. Congratulations to you who have completed that knowledge milestone!

Secondly, Lakeland learns from you and others how to better educate and serve students. Professors are lifelong learners in their academic disciplines, continuously pursuing new knowledge in their fields and in the art of teaching. We whose jobs are outside the classroom are in a continuous pursuit of more effective systems and more knowledge on how our individual and team roles can enhance the quality of each student's learning experience at this university.

Examples of what we have learned from you during the 28 months of my time here abound, so I will mention a few. You taught us a lesson in community by explaining the need for deeper and broader cross cultural understanding, so Dean of Students Leslie Laster joined with involved students and created the Center for Equity, Engagement and Belonging. You told us that students' future choices were too limited because of mounting college debt, so we created the Cooperative Education program with the goal of advancing professional knowledge while earning revenue for tuition. Students in Kellett told us to analyze anew the general studies knowledge that associate degree transfers were bringing to Lakeland, so Dean Joshua Kutney listened and led just such an analysis, the conclusion of which conferred the students' supposition. Students at LUJ made a solvent case for baccalaureate programs on the Tokyo campus, and we were convinced by their logic and are now studying the feasibility of degree program expansion there. Residential students on the home campus suggested that we update facilities, so we renovated the Younger Family Campus Center and are pursuing funding that will allow us to replace old residence halls with new ones.

To summarize, we are all learners, and each of us teachers of the others in some ways. That is Lakeland's reason for existence.