Tokuhiro AAUP Paper 2009

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Tokuhiro AAUP Paper 2009

  1. 1. Globalization, Shared Governance and Academic Freedom: An International Conference th AAUP 95 Annual Meeting, Omni Shoreham Hotel June 12-13, 2009, Washington D.C. Inconvenient Truths and Consequences: Hard Realities for Universities in the Next Twenty Years Akira Tokuhiro Idaho Falls, ID 83402 akira.tokuhiro@gmail.com ABSTRACT to many say that the U.S. has lost its „can do‟ attitude and replaced it with „can‟t do‟; that is, some say that we have Global economic, environmental and demographic changes replaced common sense with legal liabilities and over-emphasis are encroaching on the inertia-laden traditions of academia and on „return on investment‟. In fact, Al Gore‟s message in “An industry in the developed/developing nations. A growing Inconvenient Truth” (2003) may be symptomatic of the shortage of resources, strongly coupled to a global market Nation‟s neglected ills, shortcomings and lack of economy, has exposed the vulnerabilities of economic foresight/planning. We are underperforming in science, globalization itself and perhaps capitalism as we know it. engineering, technology, society (health & well-being, Within the global educational communities that have long criminality, etc.), politics and the environmental stewardship. In provided the educated workforce sought by industry, there is fact with significant downturn in the economy; that is, the „ills‟ looming competition for technically competent workforce and of the coupled market, manufacturing, housing and consumer raw materials, along with pressures to provide education and sectors, the „American dream‟ is undergoing a force transition. opportunities to those who are 'hungry'. Furthermore 'growth' in Let us briefly see where we have been and where we might be China and India will surely pit (fading) industrial and emerging headed. Internet revolutions against each other. In the next 20 years many aspects of science, engineering and technology (SET) and To begin, in early 1980s then Senator Gore held Congressional the social sciences will be forced to change due to a global shift hearings on the global warming and climate change as an „issue in industrial production and presence. Climate change and of concern‟. However, other than a successful initiative to rid increasing competition for resources will create and impose nations of use of CFCs that destroy the ozone layer, the U.S. is further instabilities. The present state of (ill) economic, physical the only nation that has yet to sign the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and educational health in the U.S. is likely to reverberate well and demonstrate a proactive program to reduce greenhouse gas into the future. Under potentially realistic scenarios, the (GHGs) emissions to a level agreed to by many, many nations. economically-strapped (U.S.) States and lowered-tiered, public The U.S. cited lack of scientific evidence in climate change and and private institutions will fail or fade away; elite institutions the potential (negative) economic impact of reducing GHG will likely survive but under much different missions and emissions. The lack of U.S. initiative and leadership with circumstances. This paper considers the specific negative respect to climate change mirrors the frustration of Al Gore and feedback and impact of economic globalization on the many others. traditions of academia in the United States, and the likely penalties we will face as a result of devaluing the intangible In fact, there are but a few precedents, unless with clear benefits of higher education. The author seeks those who are political motivation, that Congress prepares and the President interested in facing inconvenient truths and consequences. signs legislation, based on foresight. In other words the U.S. branches of government --- legislative, executive and judicial -- - rarely recognize the variable many scientists and engineers 1. INTRODUCTION call „time‟. Rather, they are overly focused on the spatial domain, whether this is an (geographical) area of vital interest The United States stands as the most influential and dynamic to the U.S. or areas where there are potential conflicts. In nation in the 20th Century. However, since the millennium and contrast, scientists and engineers are „familiar‟ with the more so since September 11, 2001, the U.S. is seemingly a importance of „space-time‟ dynamics. nation that is perpetually in crisis. In fact, since its heydays in the late 1960s and early 1970s (NASA Apollo programs), some Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 1 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  2. 2. As the U.S. public largely sees itself as the dominant nation understood in terms of environmental toxicity and obesity among nations, and therefore self-sufficient under a broad (wealth and consumption), may be also be correlated to the IR. definition, there are prevailing global issues (space-time) like climate change and others listed below that really go un-noticed We note since the IR, advances in „mobility‟ in the form of but certainly need more attention. However, as many self- transportation facilitated immigration and migration. One might sufficient nations are insular in character, the spectrum of issues say that this essentially transformed the „old‟ world that was a that today impact the livelihood of billions are often only collection of separate geo-autonomous entities to today‟s viewed as an image in passing. These issues (commodities, „global village‟ with established (spatio-temporal) socio- phenomena etc) that are here today and if common sense economic gradients and its consequential ills. Per such prevails, (best engineering estimate) likely be relevant in 2029 mobility, immigration and migration, the U.S. is indeed a nation are as follows: of immigrants and „opportunity‟. However, having done this so well, the U.S. has also encroached on the finite „masses of the  Climate change, global warming (unsustainable) earth‟s resources and its capacity to handle effluents emitted as  Further growth in China and India (sustainable / end-products. In contrast, no one country in the European unsustainable) Union is likely to encroach on the world‟s resources. Thus, in  War and terrorism (unsustainable) order to maintain its „status quo‟ (sustain itself), it is not  Worldwide dependence on energy (sustainable); fossil fuels surprising that the U.S. proactively tries to maintain and protect (unsustainable) its vital interests. However, this may be against the sentiment of  Worldwide hunger for raw resources (unsustainable) the global communities. That is, the U.S. maintains in 2009,  R&D on, manufacturing and sales of weapons and most likely to 2029, the following: (unsustainable)  Internet and Microsoft; (digital) visual media (sustainable)  Strong preference for and historical consumption of cheap and abundant energy  Cell phones and digital wireless technologies (sustainable)  Strong preference for and historical consumption of cheap  Credit and credit cards (unsustainable) goods and services on credit  Automobiles, Toyota (sustainable/unsustainable)  Preference to litigate in place of common sense, and to  U.S., China, Japan, Russia and E.U. (sustainable / superficially value the rights of individuals while unsustainable) neglecting alternative means to establish a cooperative society The label, “sustainable” or “unsustainable”, noted above is an  Relatively lower per capita output of college educated attempt to attach a presently popular concept to each of the engineers and engineers; an under-emphasis on higher issues. The question whether an issue, phenomena or commodity is sustainable or unsustainable is in itself worthy of education a manuscript. To be brief, it is meant to convey whether society (or the world) presently sees it as part of the problem Table 1. Industrial Revolution-derived Materials and (unsustainable) or part of the solution (sustainable). At the Products minimum it is to recognize the time-space domains of concern1. Material and U.S. Role, Sector Type of Products Engineers Although the economy (collapse of GM and Chrysler), 1 Coal, Ore, Several Energy MinE, employment, Iraq/Afghanistan, and the „credit crunch‟ may be Petroleum ME,ChE, of immediate concern to the U.S. public, most (if not all) of the PetE above issues impacts the U.S. and its inhabitants. In fact, many 2 Petrochemical Several Materials ChE, development are testimony (over the past century) to the impact PetE, ME, of the Industrial Revolution (IR), when engineers designed and 2 Steel Few Manufac., ME, MSE, manufactured great means of transporting people and providing materials others goods (conveniences) all over the world. In Table 1, we 3 Textiles Gone Manufac., ME, characterize materials, products, industrial sector and „rise of materials general the engineers‟ from the generally accepted era of the IR. Today 4 Leather Gone Manufac., General however, with the rise of Internet and wireless, digital materials communications, we are experiencing a transition from the IR, 5 Automobiles Decreasing Manufac. ME, EE to the current Internet, „Green‟ and „Health‟ Revolution as 6 Trains Few Manufac. ME, summarized in Table 2. Interestingly we note that weapons and others transportation remain. Health and pharmaceuticals, if 7 Airplanes One (Boeing) Manufac. Aero.E, ME, EE, 8 Weapons Several Manufac. EE, ME, 1 For brevity and to provoke thought and discussions, some concepts are ChE, purposely left incomplete. Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 2 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  3. 3. CompE, It seems evident that the Industrial Revolution, followed by CS establishment of land-grant institutions, later followed by 9 Roads, Few Energy, CE, ME, access to higher education and finally, challenges put forth by bridges infrastruc. ChE the „space race‟-inspired R&D and the most recent „wave‟ of 10 Farming Few, Food, AgE, ME, industrialization (since the „50s to raise standard of living) is multinationals health indeed where we (U.S.) came from. However, it is equally self- evident that in the standard of living in the U.S. and in our 2. ENGINEERING THE MARKET-DRIVEN ECONOMY industrialized counterpart nations (the original G7), are jointly in part the reason why we have some of the global issues and So, if the Industrial Revolution, concurrent founding of many problems that are well beyond the national boundaries of any of land grant colleges and universities, and finally, widespread these nations. A (very) short synopsis on „how we engineered access to (post-WWII, GI Bill) higher education is where we today‟s global economy‟ is given in Appendix B. came from, and the “Internet, Green and Health” Revolution is where we are headed (in the interim), what forces and issues So, given the Industrial Revolution, establishment of land-grant are changing the academia? What will U.S. academia and institutions (Morrill Act, 1862, 1890), access to higher higher education look like in 2029? Will present day faculty education via legislation such as the GI-Bill (1944), and finally, positions exist as a profession in 2029? Will large private and the Cold War inspired U.S.-Soviet science, engineering R&D public, 2- and 4-year colleges and universities exist as and technology „space race‟, much of the socio-economic institutions? landscape that we know today was constructed, developed and constructed. In fact, as we are fully aware today, the entire Table 2. Internet Revolution Materials, Sources and undertaking was based on accessible, cheap „energy‟ – mostly Products in the form of fossil fuels. At the same time, in order to Material and U.S. Role; Sector Type of establish science, engineering and technology as a „sustainable‟ Products market Engineers initiative for the nation, as well as the economy, the U.S. 1 Internet; Several, Internet CS, EE, established much of the „grants and contracts‟ infrastructure software global CompE, through legislation, such as the National Science Foundation outsourced Act (1950). Furthermore, as colleges and universities rightly 2 GHG/ Some; Energy AgE, ChE, sought to „educate tomorrow‟s leaders‟, many generations of combustion-less Europe, most graduates have been gainfully employed at the „Fortune 500‟; energy sources; Japan others these companies sustain their profits based on S.E.T., grants wind, solar, and contracts, manufacturing and consumerism. So, it is biomass, perhaps not surprising that in order to „grow‟, private colleges hydrogen? and universities and public institutions, increasingly relied upon 3 Digital U.S.; Internet; CS, EE, endowment and tax-revenues from industrialization in their communication global wireless CompE, State, respectively. devices; wireless outsourced 4 Digital image Japan, Internet; CS, EE, devices Korea wireless CompE, 3. STATE OF (MANY) PUBLIC AND PRIVATE outsourced COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES 5 PCs and media China, Internet; CS, EE , As this author takes the view that the large-scale „linking‟ of storage devices Japan, wireless, CompE, Korea computing outsourced science, engineering, technology to market-driven economies of scale predominantly defines the current state of global, 6 Medications; Several Health, BioEng., economic affairs in the industrialized and developing nations, pharmaceuticals pharma- M.D., we certainly cannot neglect the current state of the market- ceutical R.N., driven economy. A year ago, the “Internet, green and health” others revolution were proceeding along their due course toward the 7 Nuclear Energy Some Energy ME, ChE, future; the „extreme‟ wealth of the wealthiest of (private) NucE institutions we being questioned by politicians and pundits. In 8 Weapons Several Manufac. EE, ME, the meantime, however, there has been financial/economic ChE, meltdown, the consequences and significance of which will CompE, now further exacerbate any „better days‟ ahead for U. S. CS academic institutions. 9 Automobiles Decreasing Manufac. ME, EE While readers may feel that a brief synopsis may be „short- changing‟ the multitude of emerging issues and problems now faced by public and private institutions, it may equally be Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 3 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  4. 4. impractical to ramble on (again) about our own national increasingly global. Thus, international comparisons of students shortcomings, -lack of foresight, planning and initiative -, that in terms of skills, knowledge and abilities, many argue are contributed to the „implosion‟ that we now have to deal with. indicators of „preparedness‟ and the foundational „strength‟ of a So, in the interest of brevity and contemplation, this author nation‟s standing in technology-based economic prowess. presents the following to be consensus „facts‟ and opinions. With respect to international comparisons, students in the U.S. have underperformed relative to other (peer) developed  Lack of funding is the „driver‟ of the current crisis at countries. In OECD's Programmed for International Student colleges and universities Assessment 2003, U.S. 15 year olds ranked 24th of 38 nations  Most U.S. colleges have endowment less than 1% of the in mathematics, 19th of 38 in science, 12th of 38 in reading and size of Harvard; nevertheless colleges with significant 26th of 38 in problem solving (I.E.S.). These are not endowment have lost 20-50% of its value due to the encouraging results. They also do not meet the expectations of financial meltdown. These institutions face large short-falls stakeholder who rely upon S.E.T. In fact, it is not surprising in their operating budget. that many business leaders have expressed concerns that the  Nearly all States are facing financial hardship and therefore quality of education in the U.S. system is generally below reducing state support of higher education. acceptable standards. Business leaders have also stated and  To compensate loss of income (raise revenue), many private recommended that the U.S. system needs to conform to the and public institutions are undertaking the following: demands of a changing world. In fact, Bill Gates, as many raising tuition, freezing salaries, eliminating unfilled and know, stated that the American high school is "obsolete". This non-essential positions, laying off staff and promoting state-of-affairs is a problem as many of these graduates go on to „early‟ retirement, imposing furloughs, consolidating the nations‟ universities unprepared and with little appreciation programs and postponing or canceling construction of „rigor‟. Equally, any large fraction of non-college bound projects. youths contributes to the potential socio-economic burden of a nation. Studies have shown that non-degreed students „struggle‟ Thus in terms of the socio-economics of higher education, as to earn a living on limited S.E.T. (or any set of needed) skills strongly coupled to the market-driven economy, we are (elementary reading, writing, mathematics). As such, and with regressing and surely losing ground. Although the U.S. was the anticipated decrease in college age (eligible) students, one seen globally as the champion to those who sought opportunity of the major issues in the engineering professions in the next 20 (to overcome poverty and prejudice), a number of studies have years will be the competition for graduates. revealed the U.S. now lagging behind contemporary nations (Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Denmark and France) in percentage of youth, age 25- 5. COMPETITION 34, who have earned post-high school degrees. Now, with lost 5.1 FOR S.E.T. HUMAN RESOURCES investments (and original lack of savings) and rising tuitions, it is certain that younger Americans will be less educated than Over the past few years, there has been a competition for new their elders. graduates in many of the traditional industries requiring S.E.T. degrees. For example, in the nuclear (energy) industries, due to Within the pending consequences of the financial meltdown, a 30-year lack of „new‟ construction (and related engineering) permit me to revert back to the context which the author is most of power plants, the nation is critically thin on graduates, but familiar with and potentially perceived as having the most rich on retired and retirement eligible professionals. Yet, as a credibility. That is, let us look at the „truth and consequences‟ new need for nuclear energy generated electricity is needed and anticipated „hard realities‟ for universities, within the (World Nuclear News), the industry is short of qualified closely linked issues in science, engineering and technology as engineers. Nuclear energy, although debated with respect to taught in our universities and realized as our economic might. radioactive waste, perceived risk and proliferation issues, is seemingly needed as part of the U.S. and global energy portfolio for years to come. Energy security today is very much 4. SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY a way to restart our socio-economic „recovery‟; that is, an (S.E.T.) infrastructure based on cheap and abundant energy (electricity) that the U.S. public demands and expects. Equally, it is One can say that over the past 150 years, education --- (curiously) a „GHG-free‟ energy source. So, public sentiment is especially in S.E.T., has served humanity well. In fact, we have changing in favorable reconsideration of nuclear power. The sustained it to sustain the world we live in. So, although nuclear industry today is as global as many similar S.E.T.-based changes in academia are ongoing and imminent, it is likely that industries such as the automotive and computer industries. universities in some form will exist in 2029. In fact, in the U.S. However, energy and energy security forms the basis for the and many industrialized nations, S.E.T. education is the global economy and the global effort to mitigate climate „supply-chain‟ of modern, technological economies. Further, change. It would thus be seemingly unfortunate that due a lack with the rise of multi-national companies, this „practice‟ is Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 4 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  5. 5. of a skilled workforce, the nation‟s energy option could be means are taking longer to graduation, while others are derailed. selecting majors with the best balance of „ease‟ and high probability of employment. Other S.E.T.-based industries also operate on the tacit assumption that industries will compete for new engineering We also know that the demographics of college-aged children graduates as tradition dictates. While this market-driven are changing such that total enrollment will decrease situation is attractive to new graduates, it difficult to see this as nationwide. Moreover, although some gains have been made to prudent „human resource management‟ approach. It seems attract more female students into predominantly male- wiser to manage and nurture a S.E.T.-based workforce for self- dominated majors, the U.S. remains relatively „conservative‟ sufficiency, energy and homeland security. and „traditional‟ in socio-economic roles. Thus, although discrimination is forbidden by law, in practice women indeed see and reach a „glass ceiling‟. 5.2 FOR MATERIAL RESOURCES Although the following are not hard realities, the following It is well known that raw material resources are needed to consequences and trends are likely to appear over the next 20- produce products for a global economy. Further that when years. resources are needed but either in controlled or short supply,  The fraction of international students, including market economics (ideally) dictate who procures these undergraduates, and bi-lingual/bi-cultural students will resources. For example in recent times, China has secured increase at institutions that survive the current crisis. increasing quantities of steel for its economy. China now has Instruction of some of the core curricula will be taught in a the ability to outbid (pay more than) its competitors. Such is the language other than English in some cases. reality of a global economy when any given country may not be  The fraction of foreign-born and bi-cultural faculty will self-sufficient in any industrial sector. Under this scenario, it‟s continue to increase across U.S. institutions. In some conceivable that a (negative feedback) ripple effect may define regions, a non-traditional majority will emerge at the employment; that is, projects can be cancelled or postponed, institution, its colleges and departments. and employees laid-off, if the raw materials are not available.  An increasing number of the above faculty will move into As the economies of China and India continue to grow and they administrative roles. invest heavily in their internal infrastructure, the U.S. may face the inability to procure material resources and consequently to maintain a workforce that depends on this critical link in the nd rd 7. INTERNET AND DECLINE OF 2 - and 3 - TIERED supply chain. INSTITUTIONS In the history of humankind, it is well-known that the With respect to the institution of higher learning, the U.S. has a competition for raw and material resources has lead to conflict. spectrum public and private, 2- and 4-year colleges and It is conceivable that even under the best circumstance, there universities. These universities have an equally diverse set of will be increase competition for resources and that this will resources and infrastructure. Periodic ranking of colleges and directly impact the employment in the engineering, technology universities, and their disciplines are published and well-known and manufacturing sectors. This will also indirectly impact among the stakeholder community (U.S. News and World hiring of faculty and professionals across academic institutions; Report). Many of these published „metrics‟, along with only those who see intangible „value‟ in academic careers intercollegiate athletics, the „front porch of the university‟ and and/or see academic careers in the „interim‟, until some other „peer institutions‟, are the bread-and-butter of administrators. opportunity presents itself, will pursue these careers. In essence, this is the situation we have today. First based on the broad portfolio of available resources such as endowment, reputation, political influence and relative independence from State budgetary issues, it is likely that 6. INSTITUTIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS private educational institutions will remain in name and in form over the next 20 years. As „growth‟ in whatever form is the As briefly noted the current economic climate is putting further primary pursuit of U.S. institutions, it is possible to return to pressure on a family‟s resources with respect to supporting a some previous institutional framework if the budgetary son or daughter‟s college education. The cost of a college constraints warrant it. That is, institutional growth can be education is already beyond the reach of many parents and as a conservative and the institution less than willing to take bottom-line „return on investment‟ issue for those who are significant risk. An institution can live on hope for better days willing to make the commitment. This is even without ahead. For example Delblanco (2009) reported that Harvard mentioning the relative „value‟ of higher education. uses some 1/3rd of its endowment toward its operating budget; it Furthermore, as students today appear to place high value on is likely that Harvard may now downsize as much as ~30%. the G.P.A. (see Disconnect? below), those with economic Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 5 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  6. 6. In addition, state institutions whose annual support is less 8. DISTRIBUTION OF GLOBAL WEALTH dependent on the economic health of the state will also likely be able to maintain their status quo. However, state institutions With continuing outsourcing of lower-level engineering, located in the less populated and economically disadvantaged computing and technical labor and tasks, and our unrestrained states (EPSCOR or similar), with a large social support burden consumerism of goods from China, India and other developing (Medicare or similar) will either be forced to downsize and/or countries (cheap labor), these very countries will continue to operate under a significantly different format. accumulate trade surplus for the next 20 years. In particular, India and China will continue to accumulate „wealth‟ and It seems self evident that beyond the immediate initiatives to economic might as Japan and South Korea have done in the reduce institutional costs as mentioned (Section 3), it is likely recent past. Furthermore, the emergence of the Euro, as well as that over the next decade and beyond to 2029, institutional the closely coupled economic might of the European Union „managers‟ (administrators and their associated stakeholders) (except for dependence on Russian crude) indicates that the will pursue some to all of the following changes at e 2nd- and U.S. science, engineering and technology-based economy will 3rd-tiered institutions. It is thus conceivable that, face ever-increasing competition. In fact, the increasing wealth of Russia as a fossil-fuel provider is impacting the growth of 1) as instruction per Internet and per distance potentially the EU. Also, whereas the U.S. continues to expended billions reaches a wider market and is seemingly more cost- of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, its economic competitors effective, a college degree from a given institutions will have invested less (but still billions) to maintain, transform or require less on-campus residency and increasingly the develop their own (sustainable) economy. Thus, it is evident presence of less on-campus teaching faculty. It is possible that global wealth will continue to shift in favor of India and that an instructor‟s or faculty member‟s intellectual China over the next 20 years. property will not be respected. 2) as a consequence of this, along with the increasing needs in So, what does this mean for academia in the U.S.? Here, the (national) healthcare, research spending will be prioritized recent histories of now developed nations (post-war Germany, toward the health sciences, health systems and only the Japan; Korea, Taiwan etc.) provide us a reasonable glimpse of green technologies that can provide the energy to support the likely trend. In brief, we anticipate and expect the the health industries. There will thus be a reduction in the following: traditional number of „non-health‟ related faculty who are engaged (today) in „non-essential‟ and long-term research  with additional economic means of foreign education, disciplines. increasing numbers of international students from China, 3) some states will declare bankruptcy such that state India and other emerging nations will seek U.S. college institutions will then have to close over a period of time, and university degrees and degrees in other established partially to fully privatize, merge and downsize with other institutions. The sheer number of students from China and peer state or neighboring state institutions or be purchased India may generate issues in one-sided diversity. by another entity. Mergers may also occur among  with additional economic means, China and India, as university colleges, similar colleges from two or more Germany, France, Japan, Korea and other (nearly) institutions. established nations have done before, will invest in and 4) institutional managers will be unwilling to eliminate any establish their own financial, science and engineering intercollegiate athletic programs, even if they are known to R&D, and technology and manufacturing sectors, in order be cost ineffective. to „compete‟ on a global level. It is apparent that this is 5) institutional managers will continue to demand „more‟ from well underway in China and India. faculty, instructors and staff, and only retain them as  under the above two scenarios, and under the (overall) necessary to maintain the institution‟s reputation and their current downturn, the U.S. will increasingly face intense career path. In other words, institutional manager know competition from developed and emerging nations with that in a majority of institutions, faculty „senates‟ are weak economic, science and engineering R&D, and technology and that they are not directly accountable. Since and manufacturing prowess. transparency is less than reality, an institution may be on the brink without its faculty knowing about it. 6) the tradition of tenure will be encroached upon or eliminated 9. CULTURAL DEMOGRAPHICS at many institutions and like at many results- or commercially-driven R&D institutions, replaced by With no foreseeable immigration policy nor deterrent, the U.S. temporary faculty or professionals, who bring sponsored demographics will continue to change over the next 20 years. projects and business to the university. Simultaneously, with no recent precedent in national language legislation (in contrast to Europe), there is an increasing likelihood that a second language, other than English, will increasingly be used in the workplace. As language is Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 6 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  7. 7. intimately tied to cultural and workforce hegemony, language historical evidence the „breakthrough‟ discoveries and products will become a culturally dividing issue over the next 20-years. are often made by one to few individuals. Microsoft and the Although by law, policy and practice, we promote diversity cell phone are good examples. One thing seems certain (today), as more Spanish-speaking students, faculty and however; most, if not all of the Grand Challenges noted below administrators enter U.S. universities and the workforce, it‟s require higher education. It is in the best interest of the U.S. to likely that the „lingua franca‟ will likely become a contentious invest in higher education and R&D for peaceful purposes so issue with respect to those who are „language disadvantaged‟ that its socio-economic sustainability can be maintained. and those who are not. Table 3. The Grand Challenges in the 21st Century, as In 2010, English is the „lingua franca‟ of professionals, selected by a panel of experts. Key: Y-yes, N-no, P-partial international venues and multinational institutions. In the U.S., # Grand Challenges (Y-yes;N-no;P-partial) Likelihood like many countries, the „native tongue‟ is maintained on the by 2028 „home‟ campus. However, an increasing number of faculty, 1 Make solar energy affordable Y students and lastly, administrators use English as a „second‟ 2 Provide energy from fusion N language, above and beyond their native tongue. Further while 3 Develop carbon sequestration methods P native tongues of faculty are typically diverse on college 4 Manage the nitrogen cycle N campuses, a different native language may be shared by an 5 Provide access to clean water P increasing fraction of students. The current growing economies 6 Restore and improve urban infrastructure N of scale (India and China) work under yet other prevailing 7 Advance health informatics P languages, while U.S. national security concerns dictate the 8 Engineer better medicines P need for several other languages (Pashtu, Farsi and others) . 9 Reverse-engineer the brain P This juxtaposition of changing language and cultural 10 Prevent nuclear terror N demographics, as well as the current state of foreign language 11 Secure cyberspace P education and the state of cultural and international literacy and preparedness, will no doubt present some interesting challenges 12 Enhance virtual reality P for American academia. 13 Advance personalized learning Y 14 Engineer the tools for scientific discovery P 10. REALITIES 10.1 NSF “GRAND CHALLENGES” COMMITTEE 10.2 DISCONNECT? Recently the NSF announced the conclusions of a committee of Wesch (2008), a cultural anthropologist and media ecologist, at experts on identifying the grand engineering challenges of the Kansas State University is interested in the impact new media 21st Century (2008). The final list of challenges was classified has on human interaction. In 2007, he launched a Digital into four themes that the committee viewed as essential for the Ethnography Working Group with fellow colleagues and future of humanity, these being: sustainability, health, reducing student participation. The author recommends viewing of the vulnerability and joy of living. The committee did not identify “Youtube.com” video-stream, “A Vision of Students Today” every important challenge, nor did it provide opinion on (2008). It presents a „reality‟ shared by many of the college particular approaches to meeting the grand challenges. Instead students on campus today, including those in the S.E.T. majors. it focused on goals to identify what needs to be done to secure a Some of the „metrics‟ provided in the video-clip have been future for the planet‟s inhabitants and the planet itself. summarized in Table 3. From a perspective of the engineering education and professions, the student „addiction‟ to digital As Committee Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Defense technology and entertainment (cell-phones, text messaging, William J. Perry stated, "We chose engineering challenges that Internet-based social networks, iPod etc.) as part of a daily trek we feel can, through creativity and commitment, be realistically in multi-tasking is hard to accept. This is counterintuitive to the met, most of them early in this century.” He further added that, tenets of disciplines that require concentrated and dedicated “…some can be, and should be, achieved as soon as possible." time for study and exercise (homework). In fact, as research has shown, multi-tasking does not contribute to enhanced learning These grand challenges identified by the committee are and/or productivity. As many of us know, the nature of, for summarized in Table 3 below. Based on the „pre-financial example, engineering „study‟ calls for extended periods of time meltdown‟ state of engineering knowledge, technology, market on the tasks at hand; homework, reading, writing, analysis and and political forces, a simple assessment of the likelihood, in communication. This is hardly the mindset or the nature of terms of “Yes”, “No” or “Partial”, has been noted. However, it today‟s students (see further). seems self-evident that large scale dissemination of the corresponding „grand solutions‟ will be slowed by the current Furthermore, it is already evident on many campuses that economic crisis. In contrast and fortunately, there is strong (many) students study primarily to maintain a high GPA so that Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 7 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  8. 8. prospects for employment are equally maintained. They do not Meanwhile, it seems evident that a downturn in the industrial study for content; that is, for the development of knowledge, sector as we know it, as coupled to a market-based economy, is skills and ability in science, mathematics, computing and equally burdened with inertia-laden academic and socio- engineering. In fact, with multitasking as their „modus operandi‟, any task that requires repeated or continuous Table 4. A Vision of Today’s Students (Wesch) concentration is less than inviting. The students who encounter # Metric Fact, statistics Professional such tasks sidestep S.E.T. in a number of ways. Granted, a expectations; smaller fraction of students do come to terms with the during work traditional approach. Furthermore, it is difficult to comprehend hours from campus “X”, that the „world is flat‟ or there is „global 1 49% Percentage of assignments College, 50- warming‟. It seems evident that in order to maintain any sense done 80%; work, of leadership and role in the global future of engineering, the 100% universities, employers and accrediting entities (such as 2 26% Percentage of assignments Irrelevant ABET), will have to not only integrate much more global students feel that are relevant relevance into curricula, but also strongly encourage (require) a to life multi-cultural/lingual S.E.T. education. There is potentially a 3 8 Number of books read/year Many; >8 disconnect between student expectations and that outside 4 2300 Webpages read/year <2300; only campus. For example, while skills such as Computer-Aided work relevant Design (CAD) is a staple for nearly all engineering students 5 1281 Facebook profiles read/year <20 today, with the continuing preference to „outsource‟ lower-level 6 500 Pages of emails written/year Maybe 500 engineering tasks to developing nations (India, China etc.), work related (mechanical) engineering positions in 2029 will either require 7 42 Pages written for class >100 for work higher-level activities, (lower level positions) be reduced in 8 7 Hours of sleep per night 5-7 number or transition to on-call service level maintenance and 9 4.5 Hours of TV watched/day <4.5 operations (M&O) tasks, with expertise residing of-shore. In 10 3 Hours spent online/day <3; work other words, it will increasingly be difficult to secure a position related with simple knowledge of CAD. 11 2.5 Hours of music listened <2.5; not at to/day work Finally, while some of the Grand Challenges noted in Table 3 12 2 Hours spent on cell Socially, <2; are well-suited for the Internet Generation, others such as phone/day work related, fusion energy, carbon sequestration and engineering better 2-3 medicines require advanced studies (thus graduate degrees). Based on a previous “grand challenges”, such as that spurred on 13 2 Hours eating/day 2 by „Sputnik‟ and defined by President Kennedy, the U.S. placed 14 2 Hours spent working/day 8+ and as a man on the moon using slide-rules, mainframe computer and needed FORTRAN programming language. It is apparent that we need 15 2 Hours spent in class/day 1+ in lifelong to „connect‟ with the students using present day „tools‟ and per learning Table 4, for even greater challenges. 16 3 Hours spent studying/day 1+ in lifelong learning 17 ~100% Feeling that they didn‟t make Tackle 11. CONCLUSIONS the problems but inherit them problems regardless What will academic professions and institutions look like in 2029? Will academic faculty change drastically? Will academic institutions change equally? economic traditions. In market-driven transitions in socio- economic sectors (manufacturing, etc), those two constituent While the environment, energy and resources (both material institutions are likely to „survive‟. Those institutions „at the top‟ and human) will no doubt remain contentious issues, the with resources (endowments) will have the means to partially industrialized and emerging nations‟ transition from the resist change and also to transition its institutional make-up. industrial to internet/‟green‟ revolutions will surely continue for Those institutions „at the bottom‟ with limited resources but another 20 years. In fact, there is little doubt that the Internet (human) resources to transition quickly will transition and and wireless technologies will bring about both joy and agony define the new paradigm. In contrast, there will be changes – with respect to who generates information, who disseminates it predictably failures and collapse of mid-to-lowered tiered and who has the permission to access this information. (American) institutions, who will „argue‟ its own demise until the very end. Here, I would urge close scrutiny of the imploding U.S. automotive sector. Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 8 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  9. 9. institutions across the U.S. be preserved. However, persistent In summary, based on observations and short discourse over-emphasis on defining a „successful career‟ based on presented (as indicated), the expected changes by 2029 will be superficial, unsubstantiated and ambiguous administrative as follows (not in any priority): accomplishments, external funding, concurrently teaching and entertaining less than well-prepared students, „campus-centric‟ 1) U.S. youth will continue to shy away from science, initiatives and continued devaluation of standards in higher engineering and technology as their „instant gratification‟ education, will surely erode the core of higher education and mindset tells them to pursue what is the least painful. the core of science, engineering and technology in the United Further, an increasing number of parents will not be able to States. We, as a nation, should not forget that arrived at this afford higher education, in spite of new „loan guarantees‟ point on market-driven industrialization and commercialization by the government. of science, engineering and technology. However, unless we 2) Due to a continuing decline in traditional engineering, shift toward energy, resource and human conservation and science and technology graduates, there will continue to be investment for peaceful purposes, we will not be able to sustain a workforce shortage. As a result, academia, industry and our lifestyle as we know it nor the strength of our academic government will compete for educated and degreed institutions. professionals. Since, these sectors do not traditionally cooperate, the competition for skilled professionals will continue to be market-driven. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 3) Due to continued socio-economic growth in China and The author would like to thank University of Idaho for their India, there will be shortage of resources – raw materials – continued support. and further destruction of natural resources and the environment. Let us only hope that resources will be REFERENCES shared globally and not through conflict. 4) The traditional disciplines at 2nd- and 3rd-tiered colleges and 21st Century grand engineering challenges unveiled universities will continue to downsize and be forced to http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=111158&go merge their colleges, departments and curricula. Top-tiered vDel=USNSF_51 universities will resist change but undergo some changes but will likely maintain their status quo (per 2009). Delbanco, A., “The Universities in Trouble”, The New York 5) Some States will declare bankruptcy or financial exigency Review of Books, 56, 8, May 14, 2009. and no longer support their state institutions of higher learning. These institutions will privatize, transition into a Education in the United States, at URL: different type of institution or collapse. Administrators will http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States take „credit‟ for managing the transition. 6) Instruction will be largely via Internet and based on GI Bill, Wikipedia, At URL: electronic „knowledge bases‟ (such as Wikipedia). A „lean‟ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GI_Bill as of 06/09/2009 university will emerge with fewer staff; only staff who facilitate and „add value‟ to producing quality graduates Gore, Albert, 2006, An Inconvenient Truth, will remain at universities. Technical professionals will http://www.climatecrisis.net/ At URL: algore.com leave during a period of downsizing to accept jobs in other sectors (see point 1) I.E.S. - Institute for Education Sciences, U.S. Department of 7) China and India will increasingly emerge as the dominant Education, National Center for Education Statistics, as of producer of engineering, science and technology graduates 03/06/2008 at URL: and employers of these graduates. Europe and the U.S. will http://nces.ed.gov/programs/projections/projections2016/sec4b. increasingly outsource its „hard‟ infrastructure to its own asp vulnerability. 8) „New‟ wealth will shift from Europe and U.S., to China and Kyoto Protocol, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol India (Asia) as the former struggle (largely U.S.) to rid itself of inertia-laden ways. Morrill Act, Wikipedia, At URL: 9) Language will become a culturally dividing issue in the U.S. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrill_Act as of 06/08/2009. as more Spanish-speaking inhabitants enter the workforce National Science Foundation, Wikipedia, At URL: and redefine the socio-economic demographics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Science_Foundation as of 06/08/2009. It is the hope of the author that academia and the intangible beliefs and principles therein contained (to maintain ethics, to Programme for International Student Assessment, Wikipedia, nurture, to provide opportunity, to be tolerant, to be patient, to As of 03/06/2008 at URL: persevere, to dedicate oneself, etc.) at many colleges and Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 9 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro
  10. 10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Stu 14) Mario Molína, Nobel laureate and professor of chemistry dent_Assessment and biochemistry, University of California, San Diego 15) Larry Page, co-founder and president of products, Google Tokuhiro, A., “Inconvenient Truths and Consequences – Inc. Implications for Mechanical Engineering in the Next 20 Years”, 16) Robert Socolow, professor of mechanical and aerospace ASME Global Summit on the Future of Mechanical engineering, Princeton University Environmental Institute Engineering, ASME Global 2008, Apr 16-18, 2008, Washington 17) J. Craig Venter, president, The J. Craig Venter Institute DC. 18) Jackie Ying, executive director, Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Time, Secrets of the Teen Brain, May 10, 2004, As of 03/06/08 at URL: www.time.com/time/covers/1101040510/ APPENDIX B Have We Engineered Today’s Global Economy? Wesch, M., A Vision of Today‟s Student, as of 03/01/08 at URL: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o Engineers can claim with a bit of irony that machinery --- produced by early engineers --- initiated the Industrial World Nuclear News, New COL filed; other US applications Revolution over 150 years ago. Then, as we do now, fortunes progressing, As of 03/062008 at URL: http://www.world- were made in the extraction, transport, processing and control nuclear-news.org/RS/New_COL_filed- the transformation of raw materials into products for mass other_US_applications_progressing_280208.html?jmid=7759& consumption. This revolution, largely fueled on coal and fossil j=87407171 fuels, has largely yielded the present day standard of living and the „American way of life‟ over 7-8 generations (~150 years). APPENDIX A However, in so doing (very well) we have far exceeded mere NSF Committee of Experts (21st Century grand engineering „sustainability‟. In fact, we have grown at the cost of depleting challenges revealed) our natural resources and our environment to the tune of some 8 billion inhabitants. Furthermore, it is well-known that the 1) William Perry (committee chair), former secretary of developed nations, that are largely fossil-fuel dependent, have defense, U.S. Department of Defense, and Michael and consumed so much of the extracted raw, natural resources that Barbara Berberian Professor and professor of engineering, we now questions whether the remaining resources can sustain Stanford University developing nations and more than 5 billion inhabitants who 2) Alec Broers, chairman, Science and Technology Select consume much less. Also, as consensus opinion urges us, we Committee, United Kingdom House of Lords need to remediate the environment we have damaged. It thus 3) Farouk El-Baz, research professor and director, Center for seems at least partially self-evident that whereas the Industrial Remote Sensing, Boston University Revolution served us well for ~150 years, there is a need to re- 4) Wesley Harris, department head and Charles Stark Draper think this model in light of the remaining resources, world Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts population, state of health/un-health and possibly, imminent Institute of Technology environmental consequences. 5) Bernadine Healy, former director, U.S. National Institutes of Health, and health editor and columnist, U.S. News & So while natural resources, transport, professionals, laborers World Report and the market was available and further, there were little to no 6) W. Daniel Hillis, chairman and co-founder, Applied Minds constraints (environmental or otherwise), the Industrial Inc. Revolution was largely self-sustaining. This is hardly the case 7) Calestous Juma, professor of the practice of international today. In fact, the very „resources‟ mentioned above are development, Harvard University increasingly being constrained such that sustainability (and 8) Dean Kamen, founder and president, DEKA Research and survivability) as a „global village‟ is under considerable strain. Development Corp. Thus under both global constraints and national interests, but 9) Raymond Kurzweil, chairman and chief executive officer, more importantly heeding our technological heritage, it seems Kurzweil Technologies Inc. evident that „business as usual‟ will derail our future. That is, 10) Robert Langer, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute we will have to at least address some of the current issues, of Technology above and below, and change the course of the engineering 11) Jaime Lerner, architect and urban planner, Instituto Jaime professions. Otherwise, both global constraints and national Lerner interests will lead us down a path that will be unsustainable. 12) Bindu Lohani, director general and chief compliance officer, Asian Development Bank 13) Jane Lubchenco, Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology, Oregon State University Issued as a draft at AAUP DC, June 11-13, 2009 10 Copyright © 2009, Akira Tokuhiro

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