Each year at the Michigan Tech Alumni Reunion, the University hosts a special Golden M ceremony to honor those who graduated 50 (or more) years ago. A part of the ceremony that has become a favorite of mine is when the inductees reminisce about their time at Tech. While many colorful and remarkable tales are told, most often the stories are laced with notastalia of a “special faculty” member who went the extra mile and made a lasting impact on their lives. While much has changed over the last 50 years here at Michigan Tech, our faculty’s enthusiasm and commitment to student success remains steadfast.
A most recent example of this is evidenced through the Tech Forward initiatives our campus launched last July. The nine initiatives focus on themes that Michigan Tech faculty and staff identified as essential keystones necessary to position Michigan Tech as an educational and research leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One of the initiatives that has the potential for profound impact is Education for the 21st Century led by Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College.
Recently I had an opportunity to visit with the faculty and staff working group to hear not just their creative ideas, but see and feel the intensity of their commitment to provide the very best, forward-leaning, educational experience for our students. Their goal is audacious—to revolutionize how we deliver higher education, while remaining uniquely Michigan Tech. Audacious, but they are right. Status quo is not our answer to preparing students to enter the workforce at the very forefront of their professions. We envision an experientially based education that prepares our graduates to adapt to the constantly changing needs of the future workplace, that enables them to define their individual definition of post graduate success and that satisfies our parents’ and families’ want for their student to be challenged and supported throughout their college experience.
Michigan Tech is fortunate to have faculty and staff who are highly creative and are directing that creativity toward re-envisioning the student experience at Tech. I encourage you to check out their website (www.mtu.edu/ideahub) throughout the year as they tackle this challenge.
It’s still too early to tell where this will end up exactly, but after talking with the group, a bit of advice a mentor once gave me came to mind, “Tell me who is working the problem and I can tell you how it will end before it starts.” With this group of Michigan Tech faculty and staff leading the charge, I believe it will end up very well indeed.