Guest Writer, Zizwe Poe
I would like to begin my comments by thanking you, my colleagues, for allowing me to kick off this week's blog on academic excellence. I want to touch on two aspects and I will attempt to do this in the most succinct way I know how.
Aspect 1: There is no way around it. We need physical space that supports academic excellence. This means the library AND an academic presence in the residential space of the campus. The completion of phase 1 of the library's renovation makes the edifice usable as a library. Reading the meticulous report of the president we should be able to see that phase 2 is not about library functions. Glossy pictures aside I want our students and faculty to benefit from the opportunity of stumbling upon texts that they did not intend to use because of the text's juxtaposition to a targeted text. This is the type of serendipity that can only come by walking through the stacks. Our students are tacitly being prepared to seek answers without knowledge and a degree without collegiate research. Our president's post said that the students and faculty currently have all the library and library services needed to facilitate learning. I hope that this isnot true for if it is we may never have a true library again.
Aspect 2: Lincoln University needs a Pan-African Studies program. Lincoln University has a historic relationship with Africa and the most diverse population of students from African countries than most HBCUs. This is an undervalued niche that we should take advantage of. A Pan-African Studies program would strengthen relations with African countries and Caribbean countries while assisting with connecting African American students with our international populations.
I will begin with these concerns as I expect there will be some feedback on both issues. Again, thanks for allowing me to initiate this week's string.