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Driven to Dissemble, Part the Second

A post on the Periodic Table has presented a perceptive Daily article by Robert Katz - Driven to Dissemble, Part the First.

An editiorial in today's Daily further illustrates OurAdministration's disingenuous use of their top three goal:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bruininks backing out of top three goal?

If the goal — and main premise — of the strategic positioning plan is to become one of the top three public research universities in the world, then why is the University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks, who authored the plan with Provost Tom Sullivan, saying that rankings don’t matter?

The Board of Regents approved Bruininks’ plan in June 2005 to become a top three public research university within ten years. In Thursday’s Daily, Bruininks was asked the following about the goal: “In 2005, the University stated its goal of becoming one of the top public research universities within a decade. With just over half of that left, are you still optimistic about that goal?? Bruininks significantly said: “To me, it’s about stature. It’s not about status. It’s not about ranking.? He went on to refer to the goal as a “very high aspirational goal.? Is Bruininks finally realizing that the goal was lofty and unrealistic?

As recently as last year, in the Daily, when Bruininks was asked whether the goal was attainable, he responded by saying, “Why wouldn't it be?? and then “What separates the top three from the rest … including the University of Minnesota, is relatively little.?
At this point, Bruininks seemed confident, but now clearly seems to be downplaying the idea of “top three.?

Though we believe the goal of becoming a top three public research institution — although admirably striving — is unattainable and unrealistic of reaching within ten years, it is much worse to push the goal for three years and then slyly back-peddle [sic] out of it. If President Bruininks is serious about revising the strategic positioning plan, he should define any changes explicitly. Otherwise, he needs to stick to his guns and, at least, continue to pretend the goal is achievable.


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