Speaking Out

SCUE on 'Six Priorities'

The newly declared priorities for academic excellence ( Almanac Supplement September 24) reaffirm the often-voiced commitment by this administration to an exceedingly superior Penn experience.

While the reexamination of academic priorities among these newest global trends repeatedly mention the integration of the practical and the theoretical as their philosophical foundation, SCUE proposals have epitomized this ideal since our first publication in 1966.

The priorities of the humanities, democratic issues, scientific research, urban issues, management and leadership, and information technology have all been advocated extensively prior to, but most specifically in, SCUE's 1995 White Paper on Undergraduate Education.

Upon this fundamental of interdisciplinary and holistic learning, our suggestions to provide each Penn graduate with the requisite tools for individual and societal utility match exactly with those arriving out of the mission of the 21st Century Project and the Academic Priorities. In our white paper, we suggest that these academic priorities should not only be a signature of the University but a signature of the University's educationan original distinction that is sorely lacking in our currently fragmented curriculum. It is SCUE's opinion that continuing this discussion of institutional redefinition without opening the discussion on the primary product of this institutionthe undergraduate degreewould be irresponsible.

Thus, SCUE applauds, not only the strategic conclusions of the deans, the Uni-versity's Academic Planning and Budgeting Committee, and the President and Provost, but also the process of development that has, so far, included considerable student input. As Penn continues its reevaluation in positioning, the participation of the student in maximizing Penn's capacities as an institution of learning must not be overlooked. SCUE eagerly anticipates its role in the further shaping, and eventual implementing, of our mutual goals and encourages all undergraduates to participate in the forthcoming discussion on the future of our University.

-- Ben Nelson, Chair, Student Committee on Undergraduate Education


Volume 43 Number 7
October 8, 1996

Return to Almanac's homepage.

Return to index for this issue.