During this discussion about gen ed and articulation, I have heard many colleagues mention the importance of STEM education.
Please don’t say that anymore.
Even though it is TOTALLY obvious that we are unique among the 16 colleges (well 17 if you count Charter Oak) in the fact that we could, in theory, have a STEM school, it is obvious that it will never come to fruition.
Although we could solidify our identity and system importance based upon the things we already do well (International Education, Workforce and State Economic Development, Community Engagement, Interdisciplinary Studies and Cross-Curricular Initiatives) AND by adding a STEM school, it is obvious that neither faculty nor administrators want it… despite the grants we write, despite the calls for STEM support by the governor and legislature, despite our research collaborations, despite the obvious ties to general education and program development and gift giving. Living proof is the constant reluctance to even entertain reorganization… such as when my Department reiterated its unanimous desire to move into the SE&T. The acting Dean of the School stopped the move request in its tracks which for me, as a fan of shared governance, thought was premature since it didn’t consider the Senate who has advisor capacities in university organizational structure. But alas! I am griping.
Suffice it to say… stop saying “STEM”… because when you get right down to it… there is no champion for STEM here.