“For excellence, the presence of others is always required.” This quote from Hannah Arendt should get us all thinking about how we as individuals contribute to form a community of excellence at institutions like WPI. How do we combine the best of our individual talents into a community with its own unique characteristics and culture of excellence?
In the WPI Plan, we achieve excellence through a peer learning and inspiring model. Our projects, whether they are design or implementation focused, utilize the best of our talents to solve problems and to be relevant to our community. Being inspired by peers leads us to a state where we raise not only the ceiling for our most talented community members but also the floor of our expectations for all. At WPI, the power of evidence, the continual assessment to improve quality, and the environments for learning stand as a foundation of the WPI Plan and our collective excellence.
The power of this education is more than a single faculty member’s crucial contribution. That power also lies within our community of learners and the culture they establish at WPI. So how are we establishing the culture of excellence at WPI? How are we using the power of the presence of others?
As the Dean of Arts & Sciences, one of my most important tasks is to promote creativity, innovation and balance between the scholarship of teaching and the scholarship of discovery. Our proud tradition as problem solvers requires the rigor of research aligned with an appreciation and understanding of the problems facing our generation and beyond. Researchers as teachers, learners as inventors, and community members as partners working together make up the culture of excellence in the Arts and Sciences at WPI.
I would like to invite you to be a more engaged member of this community. I am certainly proud to be part of an institution that respects the talents of others and one that works together to form the community we call WPI. As Arendt’s words remind us, we need to draw on all our talents, time and treasures and I hope you will lend yours as we continue to educate the future leaders of tomorrow.