U of S ranks 14 out of 15:

Why not being the best of yourself!

By Mario deSantis, November 12, 1999

the lack of a mandate by the university The recent poor standing of the University of Saskatchewan reported by the annual Maclean's
magazine has alarmed the academic community(1). The President of the University of Saskatchewan,
Peter MacKinnon, was very perceptive in stating that Maclean's rating don't tell the whole story, and
our journalists were very intelligent in pointing out that one of the major causes of this poor ranking
was the lack of a mandate by the university(2).
  Maclean's ranking of the U of S should become relatively important only when all the rated
learning becomes the most widespread commodity universities do the best they can do. My son Eric is taking the first year in Engineering at the
U of S, and I don't tell him to be the best of his friends, the best in his class, and the best of
every thing else. I tell him that he can be only the best of himself, and when he tells me that
some of his academic work has been marked poorly, I tell him "...speak your mind, assert
yourself, study together with your friends and just mind to do your homework, everything else
will be consequential..." And whenever he tells me about the high failure rates of students and
of the related pride shown by the surviving ones, I respond that the university will do a better job
only when the failures of our students is being reduced and learning becomes the most widespread
  commodity rather than the inner sanctum of the few and privileged(3).
  Last week, Eric was concerned about a poor mark received in some work and whenever he was
problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them told that the marking was done in a tough fashion he pointedly observed that "...there is a
difference between being tough and being just..." I am happy he is learning through any
experience, and that he understands that marks don't tell the whole story. Cultural and academic
changes don't occur overnight, and in order to convey to Eric an appreciation for the complexity
of the academic life I mentioned to him the thought that social systems self maintain(4) themselves,
and that university's "problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them (5)"
Our university will do a better job not when it is going to be ranked 1st out of 15(6) Canadian
universities, but when our politicians and academicians change their Museum Mentality(7). We
don't need a university's vision built on the Synchrotron(8), we need a university vision built on
  the needs of the Saskatchewan people.


U of S slips a notch in Maclean's rankings, by Gerry Klein, The StarPhoenix, November 8, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


U of S ranking serious alarm, OPINIONS, The StarPhoenix, November 9, 1999, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations, by Thomas A. Stewart, Doubleday, 1997


Welcome to the Autopoiesis plus... home page. Autopoiesis is a concept created by Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela to explain how living systems operate. http://www.northnet.com.au/~pfell/index.html


Famous quotation by Albert Eistein


We Need to Measure, Not Count, by Peter Drucker, The Wall Street Journal, April 13, 1993


A Museum Mentality Is Cheating Our Economy: Healthcare, SHIN and the Synchrotron, by Mario deSantis and reviewed by James deSantis, November 8, 1999


University of Saskatchewan: A Vision Built on Privileged Education and on the Synchrotron, by Mario deSantis, October 25, 1999