PERSPECTIVES: When Universities Plan Strategically, What Makes A Sensible Strategy?

Case in point is Florida Gulf Coast University, a public, regional university in SW FL. Read the news account and the public comments (below).

(From The Fort Myers News-Press)

Just another word for ‘average’

When I saw that FGCU wanted to be an “emerging pre-eminent” university in the June 7 article, “FGCU board thinks ahead,” I thought the article had to be a satire. But there was yet another oxymoron in the report — “second tier of elite schools.”

Here are some tips about the English language for the Florida legislators and academics who crafted these baffling phrases. There are elite schools and second tier schools — second tier schools are by definition not elite. And a more descriptive term for an “emerging pre-eminent” school would be an “average” school or perhaps a “pre-pre-eminent school.”

When our educational leaders can’t state their goals in clear, unambiguous language there is little hope they will achieve them.

– Bruce Bunch, North Fort Myers

Second tier out of reach

An intelligent observer and anyone else whose mental equilibrium is not totally destroyed knows FGCU cannot reach the second tier of elite Florida universities (June7, Can FGCU reach second tier of elite Florida universities) in five years. The human environment has become multidimensional, multicultural, multi-directional and restlessly agitated. The physical and life sciences have and are progressing more quickly than the social sciences.

History and experience show a need for mutual respect in human environments and a requirement of mutual respect for human developments at all colleges and universities. FGCU’s five-year strategic plan should include “mutual respect” (its second Guiding Principle).

– Robert William Green, Jr., Fort Myers

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