Predicting the Future: The State of the College 2007

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Concluding Remarks

The ultimate measure of our success will be our legacy, and the most salient aspect will be how we have improved the world around us — the local and global, the material and the intellectual.

UVM campus and Lake ChamplainMore specifically, CEMS must find its rightful place as one of the cornerstones of success for the State, the region and the nation. Indeed, the Governor and the Legislature join me in appreciating the importance of this College to the State and the importance of this State to the College. For us to be successful, we must think holistically. A holistic approach to engineering, design or analysis combines the elements of "unity of knowledge," which has been driving our undergraduate educational thinking, as well as complex systems, which has been the rally point for our graduate research focus. This integrated approach will allow us to think broadly across disciplines and consider the human dimensions that are at the heart of all we do.

Most assuredly, we are making significant progress.

Two years ago we chose complex systems as the focus area for our college. At that time there was virtually no work going on in the College on this topic. However, there was a great deal of promise.

Today, our College has major research initiatives in complex systems in AI/robotics, social networks, transportation, the environment and energy — and complex systems has been adopted as a university-wide research focus area.

Two years ago we decided to modify our engineering curriculum to provide a timely and holistic education for our students. An education that would challenge their whole mind, integrate their knowledge, prepare them for living a rewarding life, engage them in the great debates that define our time, and help them to become the leaders of the 21st century.

Today, we are putting the final touches on Curriculum 21, which I am sure will prove to be a model for engineering schools across the country.

We must sustain this effort if we are to realize our vision and continue to grow.

It is clearly a different time than when many of us started our careers, and although the fundaments do not change, how we elect to apply them certainly must. The only way that I know to predict the future is to create it. We are at an exciting time — for our professions, the state, and the world. I am under no illusion that we have set a high bar for this institution. But I have no doubt that, together, we will reach our goals and become an international leader in engineering and mathematical sciences education and scholarship.

Our faculty has simply too much talent, potential, and vision not to.

I am sincerely looking forward to working with you all in the year ahead. Thank you.

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See also: State of the College: 2006