Ronald Willett, rwillett@nktelco.net

Sixty years ago, I was likely either stumbling into, or out of Mac & Joes, also surviving digs — Miami University’s long gone “green mansions” and Sunday night’s raisin and carrot sandwiches, no jest — not like any student residence currently present on this graceful campus.

Nevertheless, I persevered, and thanks to some of Miami’s then benevolent faculty, not only survived to see Miami become my alma mater, but scored both the MBA and the chance to initiate at Miami a university teaching career that subsequently spanned 25 years in major research universities, plus another dozen years as a corporate division president, entrepreneur and CEO.

Intro only, the point of the letter is to transparently acknowledge reference to Miami, its Farmer School of Business, and the latter’s Dean Roger Jenkins in my most recent education blog: www.edunationredux.blogspot.com. Dialogues with the accomplished Dr. Jenkins have been interesting to delightful; Miami is lucky to have this asset.

To cut to the chase, the most recent dialogue was about leveraging Miami’s solid undergraduate platforms by asserting national leadership in focusing even more fully, and with innovation, on its classroom learning protocols and performance measurement.  Once viewed almost with contempt — it still persists — by university faculty, understanding how learning occurs in the classroom and in blended learning is not only applicable to K-12 but to higher education as well.

Outside our bubbles, higher education is starting to feel the hot breath of ideologues that see in higher education costs and learning performance deficits, and the next quarry beyond K-12’s alleged reform. A way to deflect what can be observed happening to US K-12, is to execute the need for self-reform that public K-12 education refused to recognize decades ago.

The Farmer School of Business, with some 4,000 plus undergraduates, seems a viable place to elevate the learning game.

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