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Thoughts for Harvey Mudd College’s Strategic Plan (provided 2005-2006) - page 5 / 6





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Dick Olson

Technology in Society: Engineers and Scientists are working farther and farther away from the centroid of modern society.  Be they biochemists working on genetic manipulation of plants and animals or computer scientists designing algorithms to assess and prioritize information that might identify terrorists, they are doing work most citizens perceive as magic.  Mudders are at the top end of the technical capability scale, how can they also communicate with the majority?  History has no shortage of government leaders that used technological superiority and for political advantage.  Certainly we have companies that have similarly used it for financial advantage. Is HMC producing a "different" perspective that combines technical excellence with a sense of propriety? I think that this is a unique aspect of the mission statement, that doesn't get the notice that it should. Randy Saunders

Diversity.  In my short time here at Mudd, I have been generally impressed with the College's desire to address issues of diversity.  The College has clearly made important strides in terms of gender and ethnic diversity, especially.  Much more work, however, can and needs to be done. I was surprised, for example, that the incoming freshman class is down to 28% women from the current average of 33% women at the College.  Additionally, it's my understanding that there have been some changes and personnel shifts in the Office of Institutional Diversity.   Regardless of any particular shifts in positions or personnel, I believe that this College needs to continue to give significant, long-term institutional support to important initiatives like this.   As we all know, major gains can only be made when there is an unequivocal commitment of resources and personnel to such efforts. Diversity in all of its forms -- gender, ethnic/cultural, class, geographic, sexual orientation, etc. -- is, I believe, part and parcel of our mission as a "liberal arts" college of science and engineering.  It is my sincere hope that, under the leadership of President Klawe, HMC can continue to move boldly forward in this area. Chris Tirres

Leadership: As we all know, Mudd's mission statement discusses educating students "so that they may assume leadership in their fields with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society." Has the college been too focused on leadership as technical expertise instead of taking a broader view of leadership?  Mudd's incoming freshman class consistently outscores almost every other institution on SAT scores.  By placing such an emphasis on these scores and demonstrated technical abilities, is it possible that the college is missing other perspective students who have strong leadership capabilities?  Are there other criteria which the college could use in selecting perspective students that would increase Mudd's ability to educate leaders?  Are there changes to the curricula or other opportunities that Mudd could offer to students that could help with leadership development?  Does Mudd's size have an impact either on its ability to educate its students for leadership or on its ability to produce enough leaders to have a sufficient impact on society?

Howard Deshong ’89

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