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>>Gene:  I, too, am proud of what I do and I would not want to do anything
>>else on earth professionally.  However, we're kidding ourselves and doing
>>an enormous disservice to our programs and our students if we think we do
>>not need to earn respect from the academic community at-large.  Without
>>that respect and recognition our programs and services will never become
>>truly institutionalized and an integral part of the culture of the
>>institution.
>
>>Karen
>
>Thanks, Karen, for your response.  I can't dispute the need to earn respect
>from the academic community at large.  However, a name, i.e., a euphemism
>for "developmental education," won't do the trick and earn respect.  You
>know, the old "You can't judge a book by its cover" thing.  Although I
>don't want to be viewed as inflexible, I do not take kindly to the idea of
>changing the cover of my book to please someone unable to see beyond it.
>In the end our actions--what we do--will speak louder than any words,
>including our name.  What we do earns the respect of our colleagues in
>other departments.  I am reminded of something from the Tao te Ching, an
>epitaph of sorts, that translates "When you are content to be yourself, and
>don't compare and compete, everybody will respect you."  I believe that.
>
>Interesting discussion.  I'm listening.  I'm hearing.  I'm thinking.
>
>Gene Beckett
 
Agreed, Gene.  I was only taking exception to the statement that you made
that inferred that you felt we should not be concerned with respect for our
professional status.  Without respect (and I grant you that ultimately
campus respect will be earned by the successes to which we are party), what
we do and the programs and students we serve are denigrated as unimportant
and irrelevant.
        I have to believe that everyone who works in our centers (faculty,
staff, students, etc.) are cognizant of the scrutiny under which we always
operate and are concerned that we will be known by the quality of academic
performance that we foster.
        I agree with some of the correspondents who claim that program name
cannot be considered inconsequential.  Such an issue seems downright silly
in light of the really serious issues that face us all, but a "mickey
mouse" name (however that is defined on your campus) can cause all kinds of
problems...  I think I have wandered away from Martha's original question
which asked how many of use as a defining term any of the following:
developmental education, learning assistance, transitional services.
        This is a fascinating issue.  Anyone else?
 
Karen
 
Karen G. Smith, University Director
Learning Resource Centers
Rutgers University
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