the university

In the parameters that describe society—in the statistics that describe what it is and how it functions—we are indeed a very long way from 1883. But are we so far away from it in human terms? The mission of the University is still to develop the human resources of society. It is to develop the minds of its students so they can process information to increase their knowledge—to teach them to think—so that they will grow intellectually in judgment and in wisdom. It must carry out that traditional mission, however, in a new environment….As the University enters its second century, we can be sure that the society of the information age will expect a great deal of it and will define “first class” in escalating standards. A public institution that aspires to greatness can never be satisfied with its condition. When an individual achieves the ripe old age of 100 years, it is socially acceptable to take it easy. But, for a university, it is an occasion to celebrate, take a deep breath, and get back to work.

Peter T. Flawn, “The University in the Information Age,” Address to the Centennial Convocation (1983)

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