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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vox in Deserto Clamantis?

A colleague who joined me two or three years ago on the Board of Commissioners of an academic accreditation body here in the U.S. wrote to me this week  He closed his letter as follows:
"I REALLY miss you on the commission!!"
Here is the relevant part of my reply:
Thank you for those kind words...
I also miss being on the board.  It was an eye-opening experience, not only in convincing me that the Accreditation Council is a very human organization, one with good intentions, but also in reinforcing my sense that American education is in the hands of people who equate self-esteem with awards received rather than with learning and accomplishment achieved.  Whether by a student or by an organization, self-esteem must be earned.  As an accomplishment that justifies a school's self-esteem, Council Accreditation must be earned.  It must never be for sale, and should not come without an organization's serious attention to the intent of, and practical application of the standards and criteria.
Keep the faith, my friend.  There needs always to be an outspoken idealist on the Board to play the role of Jiminy Cricket.  I know you are up to the task.
Duncan C. (for Curmudgeon?) McDougall

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