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Good ideas come from all over

image: Departments headerThe news article ("Chicago Journal, February/00) quoting newly elected president Don Randel has him saying: "The only good ideas come from the faculty. It's been my job simply to try to get behind them, to resolve the inevitable differences about them, and see us move ahead where we had an important need to move ahead."

I wonder whether the parochialism of this comment is accurate because it seems, in effect, he is discounting any wisdom or input from intellectuals outside academia including any which might filter down--or up--from alumni. To inbreed intellectualism seems, somehow, to be a throwback to a medieval time when the church, in its wisdom, excommunicated Galileo because he differed from the doctrinal teaching. Do we deny the Enlightenment because many of the enlighteners were not academicians? Do we totally dismiss political innovators because their innovations were tested in the field of public affairs rather than in the halls of our colleges and universities?

Perhaps President-elect Randel deserves the benefit of the doubt and would care to rethink this quotation, or at least put it into a context that would satisfy independent thinkers, the world's intellectual roustabouts, and those of us who have encountered the outside world and have survived in it.

Edward S. Lowenstern, PhB'45, MBA'46
Chicago


  APRIL 2000

  > > Volume 92, Number 4


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