Saturday, November 2, 2013

Internationalization, What's That?

When I got to UB my first place to check in was the OIEP- Office of International and Exchange Programs.  The staff there was mostly quite nice.  What I didn't realize at that time was that about 33% of the UB faculty are...internationals.  ON my own UB faculty of 15 teachers, I know of 4 Nigerians, 1 South African, and 2 natives of India.  Likely there are others who are internationals who I don't even know.

Knowing this, it struck me as a bit odd that I was invited to a "focus group" regarding "internationalization".   I wouldn't think they would want to be any MORE internationalized, considering this is the only major university in the whole country already.  But all academics seem to think this is a good idea.  We think that "strange", "new" thinking and things are so very valuable.

I am less sure than most of my colleagues.  Some "foreign" ideas are super, some are not so good.  But this is also true of domestic ideas; of all ideas really.

Scripture tells us that "There is nothing new under the sun."  (see Eccl 1:4-11)

But, you say, "Surely this is wrong.  You do research to 'create' new knowledge all the time."

Well, as a researcher there are two things wrong with that argument:
We are simply uncovering what G^d has known since before the foundation of the world.
Most research findings are really pretty trivial.

Even if I cure cancer, that is a "temporary fix".  "Cured" cancer patients still die.

"But what about 'quality of life'?" you ask.

Good point.  What is quality of life and how does one maximize it?  Think about it.

"There is nothing new under the sun."  (see Eccl 1:4-11)  Nothing worthwhile I reckon.

No comments:

Post a Comment